Like Google and Microsoft before it, Cisco has decided to remove its eggs from the home energy management basket.
Writing in Cisco’s blog, Laura Ipsen — the company’s senior vice president and general manager for smart grid — this week delivered the news in the usual “we’re-getting-out-of-the-home-energy-monitoring-business-because-it’s-better-that-way” way:
“Over the past two years the home and building energy management markets have evolved in such a way that we believe we can provide more value to our customers and the industry by enabling interoperability through our core networking products and solutions (for example, EnergyWise) as part of our integrated architecture within the broader smart grid effort,” Ipsen writes. As a result, she continues, Cisco will move away from making home-energy management tools to “using the network as the platform for supporting innovative applications and architectures that will improve our customers’ value proposition in the consumer energy management market.”
What that means is Cisco is pulling down the curtain on its Home Energy Management offering, a combination of a controller and services that it announced last year. The move mirrors Google’s recent decision to kill its PowerMeter and Microsoft’s upcoming mothballing of its Hohm energy monitoring service.
The lesson here? Creating a viable home-energy management solution — one that people will actually willingly pay for, use and benefit from — isn’t as easy as it might seem, even for the smartest of smart-technology companies. When it comes to persuading homeowners that investing their money, time and effort into watching their energy use is worth it, the smart-grid industry has some way to go.