Memo to utilities: Home energy management gradually becoming the norm


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Read the release below from KB Homes, which now builds a Schneider home energy management system into all its new houses. Then recall that AT&T's Digital Life smart home product includes home energy management. As does Comcast's new smart home functionality. The point - home energy management is gradually becoming a "standard feature."


Here's hoping that the electric power industry will quickly build standards for how these systems talk to the local utility. Otherwise they could find themselves with the onerous job of supporting multiple proprietary systems. - Jesse Berst



 KB Home now including energy monitoring systems with ‘smart’ home capabilities as a standard feature with all its new homes


KB Home today announced that all of its new homes will now include a Wiserâ„¢ home management system from supplier partner Schneider Electric. The system will allow homeowners to track their home’s energy consumption, in real-time, from practically anywhere. A web-based portal, accessible from mobile devices and home computers, will show homeowners their daily energy usage in both dollars and kilowatts, with the ability to look at the data on an hourly basis. The standard system is also the base of a platform that can be enhanced to include home automation features such as remote door, lighting, thermostat and security system operations, making all new KB homes wired and ready for the 21st  century.


"Similar to the way in which the dashboard of a car provides the driver with real-time information about the performance of their vehicle, the Wiser home management system provides our homeowners with information about their home’s performance through real-time monitoring of their energy usage. This empowers our homeowners to reduce their energy consumption and make the most of their highly energy-efficient new KB home,” said Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer of KB Home. "This system is also a sign of our times. Not only do consumers want ‘smart’ phones, they want ‘smart’ homes as well. By including the Wiser home management system in all of our new homes, we are equipping them to be some of the most intelligent homes out there.”


The introduction of the Wiser home management system as a standard feature of KB homes is the builder’s latest in a series of continual improvements to its new homes in the area of energy efficiency. All KB homes are ENERGY STAR® certified and include WaterSense labeled fixtures as well as other environmentally-conscious features such as low-VOC paint, programmable thermostats and low-E windows.


The Wiser home management system enables homeowners to become more aware of their home’s energy consumption and then maximize their home’s energy efficiency by reducing or shifting energy use during peak times. This increased awareness, coupled with behavior shifts can help KB homeowners fully realize a lower total cost of homeownership in their energy and water efficient KB home.

KB Home is the first builder to include the Wiser home management system in its new homes and will also offer additional options to further enhance the system at its KB Home


Design Studio. Homebuyers can choose to add items like smart plugs that allow them to monitor and control energy consumption of single items, like appliances or computers. All these features and functionalities can be accessed and controlled by KB homeowners via a free Wiser app available for iPhone, iPad and Android. They can also choose to upgrade to a Wiser thermostat that can be linked to the system to control the thermostat remotely. Other options available thanks to Schneider Electric’s partnership with include home automation features like remote light and security system controls.