What if your home could generate energy rather than merely consume it? Some homes are already achieving greater than Zero Net Energy (ZNE), a term Edison International uses to describe a home “whose annual energy consumption is no greater than its annual energy generation.”
The Smart Energy Home Experience
The idea is not a new one. For years builders and homeowners have used window film to help conserve energy and achieve ZNE, such as in this Florida home. The Honda Smart Energy Home was completed on a University of California campus in the spring of 2015. The big news is that these homes are now being marketed. The SolarCity Smart Energy Home in Hawaii, for example, is already available for lease or purchase.
How a Smart Energy Home Works
In a smart energy home, including the SolarCity Smart Energy Home, a battery system stores solar electricity for use at night. The home’s gateway controls all energy devices to ensure maximum solar generation and consumption. An electric water heater, for example, uses solar energy collected throughout the day to heat water stored for use at night. The Nest Learning Thermostat modifies the home’s energy usage based on how much solar energy is available, ensuring the needed energy won’t be exported back to the grid.
Energy Customized for a Home’s Residents
The SolarCity Home’s technology and the size of the system that controls it are customized to the residents’ energy usage. In general, the homes offer all the comforts of other modern homes without the excessive energy use.
Will Smart Energy Home Ownership Change the Way You Live?
Much of the technology featured in today’s smart energy homes is readily available. So whether you live in Hawaii or elsewhere, there’s a strong likelihood that a smart energy home will soon be available in your neighborhood. The question, however, isn’t whether you’ll want to live in one. If you’re like most smart energy home residents, it will be how could you have ever lived without one.
Learn more about Hawaii’s Solar City Smart Energy Home here.