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Ford Hybrid Part Of Zero Net Energy Home Demonstration

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C-Max Energi cutaway (Ford photo)

C-Max Energi cutaway (Ford photo)

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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DEARBORN — KB Home is showing Ford’s C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid as part of its ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif.

ZeroHouse 2.0 represents the next generation of energy-efficient home design that can help lower the cost of home ownership compared to a typical home, while also helping the owners reduce their impact on the environment A fully optioned ZeroHouse 2.0 could entirely eliminate monthly electricity charges.

KB’s “MyEnergi Lifestyle” combines electric vehicles, solar power systems and smart appliances, as well as smart technology to shift 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 Friday 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 100 MPG equivalent combined, according to the EPA. That mileage also comes with “real car” performance with up to 195 horsepower, engaging driving dynamics and a quiet interior. Also, with a starting price of $29,995, C-Max Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

More at www.ford.com.

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