US DOE seeking input on home hydrogen refueler systems
VTT involved in developing cellulose-based ethanol production in Brazil

Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.

Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.

Honda Smart Home US. The Honda Smart Home US will feature new and emerging technologies to reduce the amount of energy consumed by individual households, and will provide a pathway for the full integration of electric vehicles into the home.

The home will demonstrate an approach to meeting the state of California’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be “zero net energy” by 2020. It is expected to produce more energy than it consumes, using less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling, and lighting.

The Honda Smart Home will also give its occupants comprehensive control over all home systems, allowing the residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.

Among the technologies that will be applied to the Honda Smart Home US:

  • Solar Power System. A photovoltaic (PV) system will provide the energy for the home and for daily commuting in an all-electric vehicle like the Honda Fit EV. The zero net energy home will generate, on average, more electricity from on-site renewable power sources than it will receive from its electric utility provider.

  • Honda Energy Management System. The Honda Energy Management System introduces a smart-grid technology that will actively manage energy use and communicate with the homeowner and utility provider, allowing the home to maximize its energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid, thereby minimizing the impacts of solar generation and electric vehicle charging on the utility grid.

  • High-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and Lighting System designed by UC Davis. UC Davis energy research centers will design high-efficiency, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads. UC Davis researchers will explore new methods for geothermal heating and cooling, and a new circadian color control logic LED lighting system to improve quality of life while reducing energy consumption.

  • Direct solar PV-to-vehicle charging. Direct PV-to-vehicle DC battery charging will substantially improve charging efficiency by reducing losses associated with DC-to-AC and AC-to-DC conversion. PV-to-EV charging will decrease CO2 emitted in the lifecycle of an electric vehicle by avoiding the carbon associated with grid electricity production.

The home will be designed to achieve top-level green building certifications from the major US rating systems. With a holistic approach to sustainability, the home will feature passive design elements as well as novel materials to further reduce CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.

Honda anticipates construction of the Honda Smart Home, at a site in the UC Davis West Village development, to be completed by the end of 2013. The home will be leased to individuals associated with UC Davis, though further details have not been finalized.

In 2012, Honda unveiled the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS) in the city of Saitama, Japan. The HSHS project includes two homes: one is a demonstration-only home while the other serves as a residence for Honda associates. Both feature comprehensive controls of in-house energy supply and demand, and help manage both the generation and consumption of energy for the home. (Earlier post.)

ZeroHouse 2.0 The relationship between Ford and KB is intended to raise awareness of MyEnergi Lifestyle benefits and provide a showcase for electric-powered vehicles, solar power systems and smart appliances. The initiative will demonstrate how the typical American family can potentially save money while reducing their impact on the environment by combining a highly efficient home design with the latest in smart home technology and an affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle.

MyEnergi Lifestyle works by leveraging technology so key energy-consuming devices in a home use less energy, while also shifting energy usage to less expensive periods. At night, for example, when energy costs are lower, a smart refrigerator can perform high-energy tasks like ice making or defrosting, just as Ford’s plug-in vehicles do with recharging.

ZeroHouse 2.0 continues a national rollout of the net-zero energy home options KB Home began in fall 2011. The ZeroHouse 2.0 in San Marcos is the first WaterSense-labeled home built in San Diego County, and includes both a comprehensive Schneider Electric Wiser Home Management System and new Whirlpool smart appliances that incorporate Whirlpool 6th Sense Live technology. The Wiser Home Management System allows homeowners to monitor energy consumption, and provides automation control via a Web-based portal or mobile application. This marks the first time these products have been used by a production homebuilder.

Whirlpool’s smart products allow homeowners to monitor and program their appliances through wireless networks, providing greater convenience and control over energy consumption. With Whirlpool 6thSense Live, homeowners can set their appliances so their highest energy consumption activities happen at times when electricity rates are lowest. They can also receive alerts about the status of their smart appliances from their smartphones or computers.

The higher efficiency of ZeroHouse 2.0 is the result of a whole-home approach that includes additional insulation; upgraded HVAC systems; dual-pane, low-emitting windows; and roof-mounted solar panels by SunPower. Additionally, a WaterSense-labeled home is designed to use 20% less water than a typical new home.



Smarter Homes + Smarter Appliances + Smarter Vehicles + Smarter Residents = Sustainable Energy Freedom + Lower GHG + Lower Pollution + Better Health + Lower Cost Health Care + Higher Productivity etc.

Much better programs than to fight expensive losing Oil Wars.


Unfortunately, the 'always' weak link is 'Smarter Residents'. Never happen.
You have to hide these benefits under the guise of 'technology' as easier and cheaper - provide increased comfort, convenience, and cred. Never let them know its good for them or the country. People in general? - like spoiled or damaged 12-year-olds always.


I've read that 40% of CA BEVs are powered by home solar systems. Soon, I'll have run ebikes from cheap home solar(~$200) for 2 years.

Another guy doubled the HF solar panels and FLIES on home solar -

If just 10% of the best solar/battery energy advances during Obama's first term are commercialized this term - EV's and home solar sales will expand by dozens of percent.

Honda and Ford are on the right track.


Reducing waste or reducing domestic energy consumption is very possible.

We managed to reduce energy consumption by 53% in our 128 units condo building + 144 internal garage spaces, 2 swimming pools +++ very large common spaces, with a $220K all out professional program and a 10% subsidy from Hydro. The yearly savings are about $64k and will go up as energy price is going up and the automated system is being fine tuned. Pay back will be about 3.00 to 3.25 years.

Individual units energy consumption has also been similarly reduced with improved windows, patio doors, lights, appliances, tablets etc.

The energy saved would be more than enough to fully charge a large an extended range BEV per unit per day or two smaller ones.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)