GE to Pilot Energy Efficiency Technology in Homes

General Electric is teaming with utilities for a $5 million program to evaluate whether energy savings in homes is possible using smart appliances and renewable resources to make homes 30% more efficient. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will be deployed at houses in the western U.S. that will incude a combination of retrofit and new construction.

The DOE's goal is to reduce energy use by 30%, although GE believes the homes can reach 70% reduction if rooftop solar panels are added. The test homes will contain GE’S Nucleus Home Energy Manager, which is a Wi-Fi-enabled home energy communications device that provides energy readings from smart appliances and displays them on the web and on a new iPhone application. The program is expected to last three years and the DOE is claiming that the average home will save $800 in energy costs, demonstrating that home retrofits are one of the most effective ways to drastically reduce energy use.

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