A team of technologists from GE’s Industrial Solutions, Appliances, Lighting, and Research divisions is partnering with major utilities, builders, and local communities in the western U.S. to evaluate and develop new strategies that reduce energy usage in new and existing homes by up to 70% or more. With the average U.S. household paying $1,240 per year in electricity costs, this program could save homeowners more than $850 per year on their electricity costs.

GE and its project partners will assemble a comprehensive package of home energy solutions, which will be demonstrated in several test houses located in various cities throughout the western U.S., including Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and San Diego. The GE team will integrate a package of roof-mount solar panels and smart grid-enabled energy-efficient appliance and lighting products with its recently introduced Nucleus Home Energy Manager. Nucleus, part of GE's Brillion suite of smart home energy management solutions, delivers real-time energy usage consumption data to PCs and smart phone applications, empowering homeowners to track and make decisions about how and when they use energy. In addition to tracking energy improvements within individual test houses, an assessment of these solutions also will be done on a neighborhood scale.

Charles Korman, manager of solar energy programs and a project leader on the Energy-Efficient Housing Partnership Initiative, said, “With deep customer connections in the utility and building industries and a broad portfolio of energy-efficient products in the home today, GE is uniquely positioned to provide new solutions and products that set new standards in American home efficiency. In doing so, we can dramatically reduce our nation’s carbon footprint and save homeowners hundreds of dollars more on their local utility bill every year.”

GE is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America team, Building Industry Research Alliance (BIRA). The team, led by ConSol, energy consultants headquartered in Stockton, Calif., also includes: Washington State University, Arizona State University, University of California at Davis, Ennovationz, Sacramento Municipalities Utilities District, San Diego Gas & Electric, Arizona Public Service, Pulte Homes, Salt River Project, and Bank of America. BIRA was one of 15 teams selected to receive funding from the DOE through its Building Technologies Program.