Brillion™ suite of home-energy solutions expands in 2012 to lay the foundation for a true energy-saving “connected home”
GE adds a Whole-Home Sensor that provides consumers with continuous energy consumption data – without needing a smart meter
New GE Smart Plugs provide consumers with even more data, convenience and insight into their home’s energy usage
From the company that brought you the first full line of smart grid-enabled appliances, GE is now launching additions and enhancements to its innovative suite of Brillion™ home-energy solutions and laying the foundation for an energy-saving “connected home.”
“We’ve leveled the playing field by providing a product that communicates a home’s continuous real-time energy consumption to consumers without a smart meter,” said William Paul, product manager, home energy, GE Appliances. “Our new Whole-Home Sensor connects to the consumer’s electrical panel and allows them to understand their energy consumption without waiting for their electricity provider to install a smart meter.”
Whole-Home Sensor: The new Whole-Home Sensor, an integral part of home-energy solutions, is being used in several utility test pilots, including test homes in Warner Robins, Ga., as part of Flint Energies’ recently announced pilot project. It will be available broadly in the second quarter of this year.
The sensor sends consumption data from large 240-volt applications, such as a panel box or pool pump, to the home’s Nucleus™ energy manager, which then communicates that data to a consumer’s existing smartphones or personal computers – helping them make smarter energy choices.
Knowledge of whole-home energy consumption provides consumers with insights into their electricity costs before the bill arrives; offers them feedback on electricity-intensive activities, such as water heating; and allows them to quantify the benefits of their personal energy-efficiency efforts.
Smart-Plug Controls: On a more granular level, GE is also adding Brillion-enabled Smart Plugs, which act as sensors for electronics and non-smart devices that plug into standard 120-volt outlets. These sensor plugs communicate with the Nucleus energy manager, enabling consumers to track electrical usage by the outlet for most 120-volt appliances and devices.
These sensors turn any standard 120-volt consumer good into a ‘smart home’ capable device. The sensors can be moved from device to device, enabling the consumer to perform an audit of their electrical appliances and electronics or to monitor them continuously for ongoing feedback – providing critical insights to help consumers reduce energy consumption.
“Energy data and energy monitoring are GE’s first steps toward a fully connected home,” Paul said. “We fully expect to expand our products beyond energy, bringing more convenience and control elements to the consumer. The beauty of having built-in communications features in our products means that we can also add functionality that makes people's lives easier.”
More Connected Communications Features: GE’s Brillion-enabled thermostats help consumers easily adjust heating and cooling schedules from their Nucleus software interface and alter household temperatures and operating modes remotely from their iPhone.
GE’s new GeoSpring™ hybrid water heater has connected capabilities and features that will allow consumers to more easily and more efficiently provide hot water to their families. Other Brillion-enabled appliances will undergo similar communication enhancements over the coming months.
“We started by exchanging energy information with local utilities via the smart grid, and now we’re expanding our solutions to communicate more and more with consumers directly,” Paul said. “ We also envision a day when these devices and appliances will communicate not just to the utility or to the consumer, but with each other for optimal consumer convenience and efficiency. At GE, we are developing the technologies that enable consumers to begin building their smart homes today.”
GE’s Brillion set of home-energy solutions also includes an in-home display and a full suite of appliances comprised of refrigerators, cooking products, dishwashers, laundry pairs and water heaters. For more information on Brillion home energy management (HEM) solutions, please visit: geappliances.com/home-energy-manager/.
About GE Appliances
GE Appliances (ge.com/appliances) is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better.