Home Energy Dashboard Roundup

Is home home energy management dead? Even more so, are home energy dashboards dead? Depending on who you ask, the answer is yes, no and ‘another general 500 word article on the topic’. In the ‘it’s dead, Jim’ camp, you have weighty players such as Google, Microsoft and Cisco killing off, respectively, PowerMeter, Hohm, and the inspirationally termed “Home Energy Controller“. Other players, large and small, are moving right along. Both Intel and Freescale want you to build more, Control4 and many others (to be listed below) are still going strong(-ish).

I’m certainly no financial analyst and would never kid myself on giving investment advice. How about I keep my day job and look at a few from the landscape, product by product? Today is a collection of links. In later posts I’ll delve into specific products and explore the pros/cons of the offerings. Without further ado…

DOA – Dead on Arrival

Google PowerMeter
Microsoft Hohm

Yes, yes, they were mentioned above. I thought it cute to keep them in, plus a couple of words to give them a eulogy seemed apt.

Both PowerMeter and Hohm lived troubled lives. Misunderstood by the market, under-used by the consumers, and not even able to bothered with by utility companies – these rival brothers from different mothers seemed abandoned from the get go. Both victims of the poor quality of US product foster care, where unwanted products are birthed and relegated to the stuff of legend amongst tech geek circles.

Out there Now

The Energy Detective (TED)

Short and sweet. Technologies that are out there now and ready to run and buy. Both Control4 and TED have been around for a while. PlotWatt is a spunky new startup winning funding challenges and taking the place of the now defunct PowerMeter and Hohm. Wish them the best.

Out there Now (sort of)

Energy Aware
Lucid Design Group

A little different than above. Yes, these technologies exist. Yes, they function. No, you can’t have them. At least easily. The procurement process (read: buying the thing) for a consumer device should be simple and straight forward. In fact, you should never use the word “procurement process” in the act. Any time you have to talk to a sales team or negotiate with your utility company for a product, you’ve added quite a bit of complexity. Notice the previous section with the bolded word of buy.

We’re Still Waiting

Energy Hub

Looks neat, although some believe high-end energy dashboards should likely move to my DOA category.

DIY – Do it Yourself

Pachube and Arduino
It’s Electric

So the first pair of links are only building blocks, and the second is a personal project using The Energy Detective above, but they meet two qualifications: readily available materials you can get today. You can buy TED above and download the code from It’s Electric. You can sign up for Pachube now and purchase an arduino. What can you do with all of this? Here are a few examples:


Finally, for any DIY, you can always follow up with Make Magazine, specifically this issue, which an excerpt can be found here.

Written by mackay on August 31, 2011 Categories: Energy Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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