Now Honda wants to put utilities out of business? Its new home makes more energy than it uses



Quick Take:  A prototype smart home recently opened by Honda in California may be yet another harbinger of difficult times ahead for utilities. As you will read, it makes more energy than it uses. You have to wonder how utilities will make a living when the day comes that they have to pay all of their customers for the power they are producing. - Jesse Berst


The newly opened Honda Smart Home U.S. (HSHus) is giving us a glimpse of a future where residential customers generate more power than they consume.


We've known for a while that, in theory, we would see a lot of synergy by connecting the smart grid to smart buildings and smart car chargers. HSHus will function as a living laboratory to test this intersection of housing (net zero), transportation (electric vehicles), and energy (rooftop solar).


A typical home uses roughly 13.3 MWh per year. HSHus will make 2.6 MWh more than it uses. This is possible through a combination of techniques that minimize energy use, including a passive solar design, adaptive LED lighting and geothermal heating and cooling. In addition, it features an enormous 9.5 kW solar array link to a 10 kWh battery. The Honda electric vehicle accepts DC power directly from the home solar panels, thereby saving the energy otherwise lost to heat during DC-to-AC conversion.


The home is three times more water efficient than a conventional home, and its HVAC system is five times more energy efficient.


At the center of everything is Honda's own home energy management system (HEMS), which manages not only the home's energy decisions but also the charging of a Honda EV and the connection to the smart grid for programs such as demand response.


Read Honda Is Designing Houses, Because Cars And Homes Will All Be Part Of The Smart Grid from Fast Company


Read MyEnergi Lifestyle describing Ford's smart home pilot in collaboration with Eaton, Whirlpool, Georgia Tech and others.


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.


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