Honda's Smart Homes Save Energy and Make Money

Electric car companies such as Honda are creating smart homes by integrating built-in energy- and money-saving features.
May 2, 2014, 1pm PDT | Helen Brown
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Companies such as Tesla, Ford, and Honda are expanding their market beyond electric vehicles to home products. As Ben Schiller reports, Ford has built homes incorporating its electric cars and energy-saving features and Tesla has started making batteries that can be used not just for cars, but for homes as well. Schiller adds, the best example though, is Honda's collaborative efforts with University of California, Davis on their smart homes.

These smart homes feature solar panels with battery storage such that "the house produces more power than it consumes, which means its owner could actually make money from the power company." In addition to saving power and adding to your wallet, Honda's smart homes feature other "passive design" features such as rain gardens, radiant geothermal heating and cooling, electric vehicle charging station, and adaptive circadian LED lighting. On top of that, all the features of the smart home can be adjusted through a mobile app.

As Schiller writes, the benefits are multifold: "All in all, the house uses half the energy of a similar-sized abode in the area, Honda says. It is three times more water-efficient than a typical American home. And it saves 11 tons of CO2 a year, compared to an average dwelling and vehicle."

Though Honda has not listed a price tag for the homes, these smart homes are sure to be on demand and will continue to challenge the way we build homes.

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Published on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in FastCompany Exist
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