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Building energy management

Background - 10 May, 2010
IT resources consume energy, but they can also help building managers and households reduce their energy consumption.

By providing building managers and home owners with much more detailed and realtime information on their energy use, through web based tools such as Google's Powermeter, Microsoft's Hohm, and even from the latest app on your iPad, IT has the potential to provide a completely new set of tools to enable us to better manage our energy use, both through behavior change and more fine-tune control of when we heat and cool our homes or offices.


  • Cisco's Smart Connected Buildings system shown to reduce energy consumption 25 percent by managing building systems over IT network.
  • Google's PowerMeter is a free electricity usage monitor, which can provide live data from either a smart meter or a monitor attached to your meter. By leveraging live data, PowerMeter provides consumers detailed insight on the actual electricity footprint of appliances and other products in the home.
  • Microsoft's Hohm is similar to Google’s power meter, but because Hohm does not require additional hardware, it has a significantly larger potential audience than PowerMeter currently. However, without the inclusion of live energy use data, its potential for empowering customers to change their behavior would appear to be less than PowerMeter.

See how Cisco, Google and Microsoft score for their climate solutions on the Cool IT leaderboard.