Georgia Power, PulteGroup kick off research phase of Smart Neighborhood project

Published on July 29, 2019 by Chris Galford

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With the opening of their first Smart Neighborhood, Georgia Power and PulteGroup have begun the research phase of a new project to supplement technology-enhanced homes with rooftop solar installations and in-home battery energy storage.

This first neighborhood consists of 46 townhomes on Atlanta’s Upper West Side. All are four stories, spanning more than 2,800 square feet, with three to four bedrooms at their disposal. All will feature advanced energy mechanisms as well, including things like advanced heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, electric vehicle chargers and home automation such as smart thermostats. Combined with added insulation and the rooftop solar efforts, Georgia Power reports they will come with home energy rating system scores in the high 30s, as opposed to the high 70s which were standard for single-family homes two years ago.

“The Smart Neighborhood will allow Georgia Power to continue to be at the forefront in offering innovative solutions that help our customers more efficiently manage their energy usage,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO for Georgia Power. “The research, insights, and learnings we receive from these homes will help us better understand the interactions between rooftop solar, in-home battery storage, energy efficiency measures and our electric grid – maximizing the value of renewable energy and shaping how we grow our smart home offerings for customers.”

The solar panels will produce an account for around one-third of each home’s annual energy usage. Building off this, Georgia Power will take the opportunity to collaborate with Southern Company Research and Development, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute on understanding how rooftop solar, battery storage, traditional electric grid, and their users all interact with connected devices and high-efficiency technology.

“I want to applaud Southern Company and Georgia Power, Pulte Homes, and the many other individuals involved in making today possible,” Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said. “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I know that in many ways, it’s also just the beginning. The Georgia Power Smart Neighborhood at Altus at the Quarter is an example of the future of American energy and innovation. This project leverages the resources of the public sector with the ingenuity and nimbleness of the private sector. It relies on cutting-edge technology that enhances energy efficiency.”