Since Google can't be the only multibillion-dollar technology company having all the home energy monitoring fun, Microsoft's jumping in with "Hohm" -- like a portmanteau of "Home" and "Ohm," get it? We're not entirely sure just how it works yet, but according to the company, using both user input / feedback and analytics licensed from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy, the program provides suggestions for energy conservation. However, it's the future uses we're more excited about -- eventually, you'll be able to upload energy usage data into the system automatically, provided you're getting voltage from one of the partner companies. First West Coast utilities to join up include Puget Sound Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Seattle City Light, and Xcel Energy, and nope, none of those overlap with PowerMeter's first enlistees. The sign-up page for the beta is now live, so hit up the read link if you want a chance to participate.

[Via Yahoo! Tech]