I’m watching and waiting

Grab-bag of additional feature suggestions

Additional Features I'd like to see:
- I'd like to be able to compare my energy use with people in my community.
- I'd like to set goals or create an energy budget.
- I'd like to see if the Hohm community's energy use goes down over time - does more information mean better decisions?
- I'd like Hohm to take a few pages out of the book "Nudge" (I think you already are) to help people change their energy behavior.
- I'd like to see recommendations for local contractors and stores which provide energy efficiency services. Mint does this for financial services, it seems like Hohm could do it for efficiency services.
- I'd like to see Hohm partner with nonprofit, education and government organizations to increase its visibility and to draw from a significant intellectual base which is already tackling energy efficiency issues.
- I know Hohm is focused on home energy efficiency, but down the road, after the bugs are worked out and the home side of life is running, I'd like to see Hohm become a tool to account for all energy use - that means transportation, consumption and waste disposal as well. It doesn't seem like that far a stretch.
- On the same vein, not everyone is focused just on the $ bottom line (which seems to be Hohm's main focus). Some of us would like to see our carbon impact as well. It doesn't seem like it would be too much of a stretch to add carbon accounting.

Thanks, I hope the beta moves forward quickly (it seems like Microsoft isn't investing that heavily into this endeavor) and Hohm becomes a useful tool.
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  • Karen (Official Rep) August 07, 2009 01:51
    Fletcher,
    Thanks for the detailed list of feature ideas - fantastic! I can tell you that many of these are on a future features list for the Hohm service and we are continuing to invest in this space. :)

    We absolutely want to incorporate more carbon impact information throughout the site - we do recognize that some people want to save money, some want to save the planet (reduce their carbon footpring) and some want to do a balance of both!

    Keep watching and please keep commenting. We love getting feedback from the community.

    Kind Regards,
    Karen, group program manager, Microsoft Hohm
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  • I’m anticipating
    Indeed, great ideas for the future. I also would like to see the ability to put in more detail of my energy use. EnerGuide info from appliances would be a good one. Maybe one day there could be a way to incorporate live electricity usage from the meter, using wireless devices attached to the meter like the ones that can report to a base station.
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  • Fletcher - check out this for idea#1 (https://savemywatts.dabbledb.com/page... ). I build this using existing tools on the web. My HouseID is DSH2485.. Let me know your thought or feedback.
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  • > Maybe one day there could be a way to incorporate live electricity usage from the meter, using wireless devices attached to the meter like the ones that can report to a base station.

    Looks like someone was listening -- this is now available.

    > I know Hohm is focused on home energy efficiency, but down the road, after the bugs are worked out and the home side of life is running, I'd like to see Hohm become a tool to account for all energy use - that means transportation, consumption and waste disposal as well.

    Two currently-available tools that attempt to do this:
    http://www.americanforests.org/resour...
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emis...
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  • I’m a US citizen
    -For consistency allow me to enter data manually exactly as my provider statements date it (duplicate start/end date); i.e. 1/1/09- 2/1/09 one month, then 2/1/09- 3/1/09

    -For energy charts; allow me to drag left/right for months covered, or to select the time period displayed, instead just an arrow click shifting over by 1 year.

    -For energy charts; along with temperature, allow me to see other things like humidity, clear/sunny/etc, heat index, wind chill, etc.

    -Allow comparing the history of energy/commodity prices.

    -I didn't see anything asking about basements or fireplaces in the profile.

    -How about attic fans, whirlybirds/turbine vents, soffit vents, gable vents, radiant barriers, etc?

    -How about people with electric cars that charge at home, or natural gas vehicles filled at home?

    -I didn't see an option for subfloor insulation listed.

    -Hotwater circulation systems, point of use water heaters?

    -Supplemental room heating is vague in profile.

    -Curiously, the profile did not address whether I had a garage along an entire side of the house.

    -Home water usage.

    -Weekly trash disposal quantities & fees. +weekly recycled quantity?

    -Misc equipment power consumption like routers, servers, LED's... that are usually always on.

    -Misc large consumption equipment like a welder, high power pcs, power tools, hobby furnace, etc.

    -How about Cable/Satellite boxes? Every one I've ever had ran hot & used over 1amp even while "off"!

    -Add option for furnace(wall) with a fan.

    -option for Capacitive device connected to lower home "total power" (power triangle)? like this: http://www.saferwholesale.com/electri...

    -Hell, why not even vehicle fuel consumption/cost?
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m excited
    Wow Imedbone!

    That's a lot of suggestions, and we appreciate this kind of feedback from our users. Thanks for taking time out of your day to send us this.

    - Jonathan
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  • I’m Intrigued
    I'd like to see some additional graphic and table reports:

    The monthly view shows each day's usage as a bar chart and the value as you cursor over. The same thing for the daily chart would be nice with each hour's value instead. The variation of each reading makes it hard to judge what the hourly values are.

    Is thre a way to get the hourly values in a table or download them? I have my own software for modeling energy use via daily or hourly readings and cannot get them from the site.

    Thanks! Good work so far!
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  • I’m Pensive
    I think these ideas are great and I'm wondering why Hohm hasn't been updated to incorporate them.

    In addition:
    I have 2 HVAC's in a zone... 1 gas and 1 heat pump. Why can't I enter this in?

    Light bulbs are a pain in the neck... can't you offer the option to just count and enter?

    How about water fountains? There's pool pump... but water fountains are smaller.

    Hohm's estimates of my cooling costs are waaaayyyyyy off. My electric bill went from $150/mo to $450 over the Hotlanta summer. That's $300 x 3-4 months. Maybe its estimates need to compare the lowest utility months in teh Spring and Fall and then look at the Summer costs... the delta in averages = the cost of your home cooling. Same goes for heat. The delta between Winter and Summer natural gas use averaged over a couple of months = the heat cost. Add in the delta of fall/spring electricity use and winter electricity use = the heat cost.

    What about asking shower use vs bath use? Baths use more hot water. Ask about length of shower.

    Cellular PVC is not an option for window construction or door construction. It is >>> efficient than aluminim and wood. I actually know the energy values of my recently replaced windows.

    +1 on community comparison. The site implies that I will be able to do this but I can't see it.

    The forums/blogs are hard to get to. Should have a link off the main site. "Community" should immediately link to the forums.
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  • I’m love the idea, but don't feel very hopeful as an apartment dweller.
    Along with the other Grab Bag of ideas, I believe that dealing with apartments still require further work. It appears to me that no heating or cooling is taken into account for the apartment dweller.

    My reports do no reflect any energy usage for heating or cooling. Some basic questions should still be applicable. #1 would be the temperatures kept in the house.

    I fully understand that it is difficult to work with apartments for two reasons. 1 is that there is much less control over what can be improved. The other is taking into account the number of common walls shared with other apartment dwellers (my prior 1 bedroom apartment shared walls with 4 other apartments.)

    Please make some attempt to account for heating and cooling within graphs (usage and costs), and recommendations (thermostat settings). (I even installed a newer thermostat (energy star) as the other one was regulating so poorly.)
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m happy
    AltNrg4U,

    I agree, apartments are difficult to model due to the common wall problem, and they also have wildly different setups depending on number of units on the premises

    We appreciate you taking the time to send us feedback, and even more we appreciate you using Microsoft Hohm. :)

    Jonathan
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