DEARBORN & SAN DIEGO – Ford Motor Company and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) today announce that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle® will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.
The relationship between these two innovative leaders is intended to raise awareness of MyEnergi Lifestyle benefits and provide a showcase for electric-powered vehicles, solar power systems and smart appliances. The initiative will demonstrate how the typical American family can potentially save money while reducing their impact on the environment by combining a highly efficient home design with the latest in smart home technology and an affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle.
MyEnergi Lifestyle works by leveraging technology so key energy-consuming devices in a home use less energy, while also shifting energy usage to less expensive periods. At night, for example, when energy costs are lower, a smart refrigerator can perform high-energy tasks like ice making or defrosting – just as Ford’s plug-in vehicles do with recharging.
At an event today in San Marcos, Ford’s all-new C-MAX Energi was on display and plugged into ZeroHouse 2.0’s built-in electric vehicle charge station, which is engineered to charge the vehicle during off-peak hours for maximum cost efficiency. C-MAX Energi boasts an impressive 100 MPGe combined, according to the EPA, plus – unlike others in the segment – returns “real car” performance with up to 195 horsepower, engaging driving dynamics and a quiet interior. With a starting price of $29,995, C-MAX Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid.
“KB Home is a leader in incorporating state-of-the-art sustainable building practices, and we’re thrilled to feature MyEnergi Lifestyle products in these homes,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “The home and vehicle share a common ‘fuel’ called electricity, now more than ever. Our commitment to sustainability compels us to work collaboratively to find technology solutions that are greater than the sum of the parts.”
The future of net-zero energy
ZeroHouse 2.0 continues a national rollout of the net-zero energy home options KB Home began in fall 2011. The ZeroHouse 2.0 in San Marcos pushes the envelope even more, as it’s the first WaterSense-labeled home built in San Diego County, and includes both a comprehensive Schneider Electric Wiser™ Home Management System and all-new Whirlpool smart appliances that incorporate Whirlpool® 6th Sense Live™ technology. The Wiser Home Management System allows homeowners to monitor energy consumption, and provides automation control via a Web-based portal or mobile application. This marks the first time these innovative products have been used by a production homebuilder.
Whirlpool’s smart products allow homeowners to monitor and program their appliances through wireless networks, providing greater convenience and control over energy consumption. With Whirlpool 6th Sense Live, homeowners can set their appliances so their highest energy consumption activities happen at times when electricity rates are lowest. They can also receive alerts about the status of their smart appliances – all from their smartphones or computers.
“We’re so pleased to announce our new relationship with Ford, and to have the opportunity to use our innovative new ZeroHouse 2.0 as a true model for an energy-efficient and sustainable lifestyle that we know many of today’s consumers desire to achieve,” said Jeff Mezger, president and CEO, KB Home. “We continue to refine our ZeroHouse 2.0 options and benefits by further developing and incorporating some of the latest new home building practices and technologies available today.”
The higher efficiency of ZeroHouse 2.0 is the result of a whole-home approach – from the inside out – that includes additional insulation; upgraded HVAC systems; dual-pane, low-emitting windows; and roof-mounted solar panels by SunPower. Additionally, a WaterSense-labeled home is designed to use 20 percent less water than a typical new home. For a family of four, that’s a difference of about 50,000 gallons of water a year compared to a typical home, or enough for nearly 2,000 loads of laundry and as much as $600 in annual utility bills.
At today’s event students from San Marcos Middle School and local officials learned firsthand how much money can potentially be saved by living in an energy-efficient ZeroHouse 2.0 home. The students toured the home to learn about the efficiency features included, then watched as a dump truck load of schoolyard dodge balls was spilled out, symbolizing the amount of water a WaterSense-labeled home saves in less than a week compared to a typical new or resale home. KB Home announced it would make a cash donation to the school, equivalent to a year’s worth of energy and water savings enjoyed by a family living in the ZeroHouse 2.0 home when compared to a typical resale home.
History of MyEnergi Lifestyle
The Ford-led MyEnergi Lifestyle collaboration is comprised of leaders in the home appliance, solar power and power management industries, and includes Eaton (NYSE: ETN), SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR). Additional featured companies include semiconductor provider Infineon (FSE: IFX/OTCQX: IFNNY) and Nest Labs, with its latest learning thermostat represented in the research and implementation phase of the collaboration.
In January Ford released results of a Georgia Institute of Technology computer model that calculated the electricity usage of a typical single family in their home for one year, and the associated savings with moving to an energy-efficient lifestyle. The cumulative results predict a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and more than 9,000 kg of CO2 (a 55 percent reduction) saved. If every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas – 32 million homes – off the power grid.