GE Appliances & Lighting’s “Smart” or Smart Grid-Enabled appliances are making a strong showing at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games – behind the scenes as well as in the public eye. The Home of the Future, featuring GE Profile™ Smart appliances, opened to the public on Feb. 10. GE partnered with BC Hydro and Chevrolet to develop this futuristic green home showcasing existing and emerging technologies.
The Home of the Future is part of the Power Smart Village – BC Hydro’s environmentally focused celebration site in downtown Vancouver that will be open to the public each day of the 2010 Winter Games.
Inside the home, visitors can see how “Smart” appliances and energy management technologies work. These products can enable consumers to manage their costs and energy consumption while helping to reduce demand during peak times and allowing consumers to save on energy bills.
These new appliances called “Smart” or “Smart Grid-Enabled,” are a key element in making the Smart Grid successful. An updated smarter electrical Grid will not only carry energy from utilities to consumers’ homes more efficiently and reliably, it will also carry data and information that can help consumers and utilities manage the electric power we already have, more wisely. In areas where utilities have implemented variable rate pricing, pricing that changes depending upon the time of day or electricity demand, these Smart Grid-Enabled appliances will respond to utility increased rate signals by automatically shifting into power saving modes or delaying operation until energy prices are lower, thereby reducing the need for more power generation and also helping consumers save on their electricity bills.
“I think GE Profile ‘Smart’ appliances will usher in another revolution, a revolution in which these appliances will enable us to use energy more wisely and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said James Campbell, GE – Appliance & Lighting president and CEO. “As residential energy use continues to increase, GE can provide consumers with a solution that will give them control over their energy usage with little or no disruption to their lifestyles.”
The home features smart metering technology, which will allow customers to choose to monitor and control their energy use. In addition, a home energy management system can act as a central nervous system for monitoring resource use and energy consumption within the home. The system can provide both real-time and long-term information on consumption and generation.
Through an energy- and information- capable “smart meter” installed at the consumer’s home, the homeowner’s GE smart grid-enabled appliances can communicate with the utility. The appliances can receive signals from the utility company‘s smart meter when electricity prices change and higher rates are in effect. The appliances are programmed to avoid energy usage during these high cost periods or to operate on a lower wattage potentially reducing a consumer’s electricity bill; however, participants can always choose to override the program and still quickly complete tasks that must be done.
The Home of the Future is constructed from two recycled steel shipping containers and also features other environmental-living elements, including vertical gardens on the exterior walls, high efficiency windows, solar panels, recycled pine-beetle wood, and energy-efficient LED and compact fluorescent lighting.
The Home of the Future featuring GE “Smart” Appliances and the Power Smart Village will be open through March 21, 2010.
GE appliances are also installed behind the scenes at a number of locations. In keeping with the environmental theme of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, ENERGY STAR™-rated models were selected wherever possible.
GE – Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use, GE – Appliances & Lighting uses innovative technologies and ecomaginationSM, a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort and convenience. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit ge.com/.
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