KB Home announced that it has launched the first all-electric, solar- and battery-powered, microgrid communities in California. The homebuilder has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), SunPower Corp., the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, Southern California Edison, Schneider Electric, and Kia to test the energy-efficient and resilient new homes located at KB Home’s Oak Shade and Durango communities within its popular Shadow Mountain master plan in Menifee, Calif.
Every new KB energy-smart connected home at these communities will be equipped with smart technologies and a backup battery, plus community microgrid connectivity. These innovative features are designed to work together to provide a self-supporting energy system that powers a specific neighborhood with a community battery and has the capability to operate independently during a grid outage.
MICROGRID COMMUNITY BENEFITS
Additionally, these new KB homes will offer a set of benefits compared to homes without these features, including:
- Reduced Energy Usage. Innovative technology, coupled with advanced home design and certifications, enable homeowners to decrease energy usage by 40%, while potentially lowering energy costs.
- Essential Protection. Homeowners can switch to battery energy use in case of an outage and disconnect from the grid to help maintain the home’s essential energy functions continue to operate for a certain period of time.
- EV Charger Ready. All homes will be wired to be smart charger ready. Additionally, some homes in the communities will be testing bidirectional electric vehicle (EV) chargers, which, during a power outage, enables the EV to be another source of energy.
- Convenient Real-Time Monitoring. Homeowners will enjoy the convenience and advantage of app-based monitoring and control to easily customize and track their energy usage and storage.
- Less Environmental Impact. These home and community features in combination can help lower homebuyers’ carbon footprint and conserve precious natural resources.
- Trusted Certifications. Every energy-smart connected home will be certified as a DOE-designated Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH), reflecting a high level of performance with rigorous requirements that build on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Indoor airPLUS programs, and will be verified by a qualified third party.
“Working with industry and academic leaders, we plan to explore how these energy-smart connected communities can help protect the environment and turn our homes into their own power centers designed to deliver resiliency while also reducing the overall cost of long-term homeownership,” said Jeffrey Mezger, chairman, president, and CEO, KB Home.
The project partners will conduct research to measure the energy efficiency of each energy-smart connected community in comparison to traditional residential solar communities. They will explore how to build all-electric homes that will more effectively meet the requirements of future energy codes and how an energy-smart connected community, energy storage batteries and bidirectional EV chargers can work together to maximize efficiency and comfort—and help keep the power on for a certain period of time at a community level. The research will continue throughout and beyond the development cycle of both communities.
KB Home estimates that its sustainably designed homes have cumulatively reduced energy utility bills for its homeowners by an estimated $856 million. Additionally, to date, these KB homes have reduced carbon emissions by an estimated cumulative 6.3 billion pounds, the equivalent of removing 616,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road for one year. The homebuilder has also delivered over 14,000 solar homes, achieving 44 cumulative megawatts of solar power installed and producing an estimated total of 75 million total kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually.
KB Home is the only national builder to have earned awards under all of EPA’s homebuilder programs, including ENERGY STAR, which establishes energy-efficiency standards, WaterSense, which outlines water-efficiency standards, and Indoor airPLUS, which focuses on indoor air quality. The company’s sustainability leadership was recognized by Newsweek, with the company being the only homebuilder named to the national publication’s prestigious list of America’s Most Responsible Companies two years in a row.
For more information on KB Home’s sustainability initiatives and how the company is building better homes, better communities and a better future, visit kbhome.com/sustainability.
About KB Home
KB Home is one of the largest and most recognized homebuilders in the United States and has built over 655,000 quality homes in our 65-year history. Today, KB Home operates in 47 markets from coast to coast. What sets KB Home apart is the exceptional personalization we offer our homebuyers — from those buying their first home to experienced buyers — allowing them to make their home uniquely their own, at a price that fits their budget. As the leader in energy-efficient homebuilding, KB Home was the first builder to make every home it builds ENERGY STAR® certified, a standard of energy performance achieved by fewer than 10% of new homes in America and has built more ENERGY STAR certified homes than any other builder. An energy-efficient KB home helps lower the cost of ownership and is designed to be healthier, more comfortable, and better for the environment than new homes without certification. We build strong, personal relationships with our customers, so they have a real partner in the homebuying process. As a result, we have the distinction of being the #1 customer-ranked national homebuilder in third-party buyer satisfaction surveys. Learn more about how we build homes built on relationships by visiting kbhome.com.