Product suites set for Q1 launch
By Alan Wolf, YSN
The original vision for smart appliances was a whole lot different than the kitchen and laundry products of today.
Back in the early part of the century, engineers envisioned appliances that could monitor the power grid and automatically operate during off-peak hours, to save energy and lower owners’ utility bills. But the initiative didn’t go much further than a few pilot programs within planned communities, and communications with today’s Wi-Fi-enabled appliances are largely limited to digital assistants and smartphones.
Now, GE Appliances (GEA) is revisiting the early promise of smart appliances with plans for a host of what it calls “whole-home energy solutions.” The product suites, available at multiple price points, will feature affordable technology that allows its appliances to communicate with demand management systems to reduce energy usage without impacting performance.
“We’re building a connected system that orchestrates your home’s electrical generation, storage and consumption through the power of innovation,” said Kevin Nolan, GEA’s president/CEO. Set to debut in the first quarter of 2024, the concept employs a proprietary “human-centric technology ecosystem” to help homeowners achieve net-zero energy consumption for their residences. To help reach that goal, the manufacturer will be announcing partners in lighting, information technology, energy management and clean energy generation and storage over the next three months that will allow households to control their energy usage and reduce their carbon impact with the touch of a button.
Examples include delaying refrigeration defrost cycles for a few hours to the next off-peak period or when energy from renewable sources is more readily available.
“The bottom line,” said Nolan, “is we’re making it easier for consumers to take back their power, save energy and save money.”