Saturday, April 10, 2010

Home Energy Use Perfect Problem to Solve for Students



Any electronics or electrical engineering student knows that OHM is a measurement of electrical resistance.  Add an "H" in front of it and in my off-beat way, begins to imply an unintended definition: the resistance of homeowners to change habits for improved energy efficiency.

Microsoft and Ford aim to prevent that definition from spreading.  Microsoft by focusing on home energy use and providing online tools to help manage that use efficiently.  Ford by inserting the electrically driven automobile into the equation, building on its SYNC technology.

Regular readers know my passion for making education relevant.  The HOHM project brings the exploration of how we use energy differently in the future into an environment to which most students can relate immediately: their HOME.

This is as much a call to action for the parents as it is the students: Open up your minds to new concepts. Involve your child in matters of the home.  Mechanical. Financial. Operational.  Each topic will expand their perspectives and will support the relevance of what they learn in school.

Operational, especially with respect to energy usage, is what Energication is all about.

Below is a quote from Microsoft Holm, describing their effort.

Dave

About Microsoft Holm:
Microsoft Hohm is a free online application that helps you save energy and money. With Hohm you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving. As with any recommendation product, Microsoft Hohm will provide increasingly more accurate and relevant suggestions for energy conservation as our users contribute home energy input and feedback. One of the objectives during our beta period is to refine our tool and further increase the value our product can offer to you.
Hohm uses advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Department of Energy, to give you personalized energy saving recommendations. These recommendations are tailored based on your specific household circumstances including home attributes and use of appliances and systems. You will also be able to compare your energy usage with that of others in your area. In this beta version, the Microsoft Hohm team will learn from its users and communities and will make improvements to the site and analytics.

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