It looks like the world doesn’t care much about saving electricity, when gasoline is way more expensive and companies like Google or Microsoft are even thinking of charging their users for saving that power.
The conclusion: Microsoft and Google have both decided that it’s time to end their Hohm and Power Meter services, reasoning that they didn’t have much success on the market, even if offered as free.
Microsoft’s Hohm had a pretty advanced structure behind it, and unlike Google’s PowerMeter, didn’t require users to have a smart meter installed. MS launched their system two years ago, but now says that “Due to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market.”
It also looks like others didn’t do much better, either. Katie Fehrenbacher at GigaOm’s Eart2Tech wrote an extensive article about why this niche didn’t succeed. The first reason is they started too early, and she may be right on that. I’d add another one: if anyone says you have to spend money to save money, something smells fishy. Not the case with Google, but Microsoft should have had another approach towards this.
Anyway, if you want to try their service out, it won’t be closed until May 31st, 2012.