GE is beginning a new experiment in a handful of test cities to see if it can achieve dramatic reductions in home energy use.
The program will be implemented in the western U.S., including the cities of Phoenix, Sacramento and San Diego. Each participating house will be equipped with solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, LED lights and one of GE’s Nucleus home energy management systems to rule them all.
GE is hoping that the combination of these technologies could reduce energy use by as much as 70 percent. The solar panels would account for a 40 percent, and the real-time energy use management would account for the other 30 percent. Home energy use accounts for more than 10 percent of the total energy use in the United States.
If GE's experiment meets its ambitious goals, and can expand in a cost-effective way (the program only has a budget of $5 million, so its going to be small), the recent trend of declining energy use in America year over year might just continue for a while.