February 24, 2010
| by Lisa Montgomery
Talk about après ski. Once Olympic athletes and fans are off the slopes they can hit the Home of the Future in downtown Vancouver.
The demo home, part of BC Hydro’s environmentally focused Power Smart Village celebration site, features GE Appliances & Lighting’s Smart appliances and energy management technologies.
The home was designed to demonstrate to visitors how emerging technology can help curb energy use. The Smart Grid-enabled products are able to react to energy-use information distributed to the home via utilities. For example, during peak energy periods, the Energy Star-rated appliances can be programmed to delay operation or shift into a power-savings mode until energy rates are less expensive.
A smart utility meter and an energy management system are core components in the home. The meter receives energy data from the utility and the energy management system allows users to monitor their usage. Using these two devices, consumers can make wise energy choices and set up their GE appliances to operate accordingly.
Technology isn’t the only smart component in the house, however. Other elements help the home maintain its energy smarts. Constructed of two recycled shipping containers, it features vertical gardens on the exterior walls, high-efficiency windows, solar panels and LED and compact fluorescent lighting.
The home is open to the public though March 21, 2010, and was developed through a partnership of GE, BC Hydro and Chevrolet.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.