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Ford, Whirlpool, SunPower Collaboration Envisions 60% Reduction in Home Energy Costs

Ford announced a strategic collaboration that aims to demonstrate how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and carbon footprint by integrating home appliance technology with a plug-in vehicle and solar power to achieve an energy-efficient lifestyle.

The so-called MyEnergi Lifestyle collaboration includes Whirlpool, SunPower and Eaton — companies in the home appliance, renewable energy and power management industries respectively. Additional featured companies include semiconductor provider Infineon and Nest Labs, with its latest learning thermostat represented in the research and implementation phase of the collaboration.

Specifically, MyEnergi Lifestyle showcases how combining renewable energy generation with time-flexible vehicle charging and appliance use can optimize energy consumption in the home. The collaboration worked with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to create a computer model that calculates the electricity usage of a typical single family with this type of set-up.

The cumulative results predict a 60 percent reduction in energy costs where utilities distinguish between peak and off-peak rates for energy use. In addition, such a home could avoid more than 9,000 kg of CO2 emissions (55 percent reduction) in a single year. If every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas off the power grid (32 million homes).

Additional results from the Georgia Tech computer model, including in-depth associate product savings, will be revealed at Ford's display during the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 8-12.

"More than ever, cars are sharing the same energy source as the home," says Mike Tinskey, global director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. "The time is right for the home appliance and transportation sectors to converge if we are going to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world."

In November, GE announced an arrangement with Ford and Georgia Tech to purchase and evaluate 2,000 new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids.

@Bart_King is a freelance writer and communications consultant.


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