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GE unveils Net Zero Energy Home concept and launches Smart Grid projects


July 19, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

GE unveiled plans for a Net Zero Energy Home project that combines GE’s most efficient appliances and lighting, new energy management systems, and GE power generating and storing technologies in new home construction. When applied together, GE says the system would enable a homeowner to achieve net zero energy costs by 2015.

As part of the company’s ecomagination strategy, the GE Net Zero Energy
Home offerings will consist of three major groups within the product
portfolio: energy-efficient products (including appliances and
lighting); energy management products that will enable consumers to
manage their costs and energy consumption; and energy
generation/storage products, like solar PV (photvoltaics), energy
storage and next-generation thin film solar.

“Much of today’s electrical grid dates back to the days of our founder,
Thomas Edison,” explained Mark Little, senior vice-president and
director, GE Global Research. “And while that grid has served us well
for decades, we recognize that by investing in technologies to
transform the current electrical infrastructure, GE will be able to
provide powerful solutions for customers around the world for the next
100 years. We’re working with our utility and government partners to
deploy energy-efficient technologies today, in a way that will empower
consumers without compromising their lifestyle.”

One new product that will give consumers more control will be available
as early as 2010, when GE will introduce the Home Energy Manager—the
central nervous system for the Net Zero Energy Home that will work in
conjunction with all the other enabling technologies in the home to
help homeowners optimize how they consume energy. GE will also
introduce a line of smart thermostats in 2010 that, together with the
Home Energy Manager, will inform consumers on their energy use and
empower them to make smarter decisions on their energy consumption.

The Net Zero Energy Home announcement comes as a new GE/Ipsos poll
gauging existing U.S. and U.K. consumer awareness and comprehension of
smart grid found that three out of five people in both countries would
change their electricity consumption behaviour around smart grid
adoption. Two-thirds in both countries would monitor their energy usage
online at least once a week.

Additionally, 73% of U.S. and U.K. respondents are interested in the
pricing structure behind electricity bills and how smart grid could
affect those bills, with half of respondents in the U.S. and over
one-third in the U.K. willing to pay an increased monthly rate for
smart grid technology were there a corresponding reduction in overall
energy costs by 15%.

CLICK HERE for GE Global Research.