New Smart Home Uses 50 Percent Less Wire but Points the Way to More Electrical Work

New showcase house, “Green Life Smart Life,” was recently completed in Narragansett, R.I. It should be of great interest to electrical contractors, despite the fact that it used 50 percent less wire than a conventional home of the same size.

Smart homes are becoming more attractive to owners. The pace of construction or renovation will accelerate as utility companies roll out smart meters. This is already occurring in California and at smaller, progressive utilities around the country. Most other utilities are in various phases of implementing smart meters. Pacific Gas & Electric, for example, has installed approximately 1.5 million smart meters and hopes to complete 10.3 million more by 2011.

Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is starting to get buyer inquires from California about smart appliances. GE has appliances available for shipping and is ready for mass production as demand develops, even supplying swappable demand-response modules for various wireless protocols to communicate with smart meters. These are only a few examples of how growing grid intelligence is impacting new construction and will be affecting upgrades to older homes.

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