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New Report on the Eve of Energy Efficiency Day Calls on the Smart Home to Change the Concept of Home Energy Efficiency

October 3, 2018

On October 4, 2018, the Building Performance Association called on policymakers, industry leaders, energy program managers and contractors to redefine home energy performance to include smart technology, smart homes. In “Redefining Home Performance in the 21st Century, How the Smart Home Could Revolutionize the Industry and Transform the Home-to-Grid Connection,” HPC asserts that America’s homes are key to revolutionizing not only consumer comfort and energy bills, but the stability and security of America’s electric grid.

“It is time we start seeing smart home devices and home energy management systems as integral parts of home energy systems,” said Kara Saul-Rinaldi who serves asthe Association’s Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs and a report author. “It is time we move to smart home performance.”

The report highlights the growing need for policymakers to recognize buildings as a part of the grid infrastructure and for the industry to rethink its definition of an energy-efficient home. The ability of a home to respond to the needs of the utility system makes the grid more efficient, reduces the need to build power plants, and shortens the duration and frequency of black outs. “America’s homes and buildings are a part of America’s energy problems and its energy solutions,” said Saul-Rinaldi.

The report sets a baseline for the current states of the smart home while noting ideas, obstacles, and opportunities for combining “smart” technology (such as learning thermostats and WiFi connected lighting) with traditional technology (such as insulation and windows) to set fresh expectations for efficient homes that can communicate to homeowners and the grid, expanding their efficiency potential. In addition to ten recommendations for industry and policymakers, the authors offer support for further research.

“HPC works to decrease barriers to residential energy efficiency. As we celebrate Energy Efficiency Day tomorrow, we hope this report builds more links between the smart home market and energy efficiency policy. This is an important issue for all stakeholders, from smart technology companies to contractors to utility energy program managers,” said Keith Aldridge, HPC President and CEO. “Technology has always been intricately linked to energy efficiency; it is also key to the evolution of home performance.”

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