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Ford, Eaton, SunPower And Whirlpool Team Up For Electric Energy Initiative

"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."

The average American home uses more than 11,000 kWh of electricity a year, says Warwick Stirling, global director for Energy and Sustainability, Whirlpool Corporation. "But with recent technology advancements in our appliances, a family can use energy smarter and more efficiently," he adds.

"SunPower is offering Ford plug-in vehicle owners the world's most efficient solar power systems to ensure they maximize emission-free power generation for use at home and for their vehicles," says Ken Fong, SunPower general manager, Americas. "SunPower systems offer the industry's best warranty, so homeowners can count on 25 years or more of clean power to support their sustainability goals and generate significant annual savings on their electricity bills."

"As innovation in home electrical technology advances, so does the need for safe, reliable and efficient power distribution," says Joanne Edwards, vice president and general manager, Residential Division, Eaton. "At the same time, giving homeowners the tools to tap into the details of distributed power for their homes allows them to modify their behavior and further reduce energy consumption."

Driving change: Technology trends

A plug-in vehicle is the largest electrified product most people will ever buy, and it serves as a catalyst for adoption of products that reduce CO 2 and save money. Recent advancements in several technologies make this an ideal time to demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved by optimizing a home energy footprint.

Key factors driving MyEnergi Lifestyle include:
  • Electric vehicles, like the all-new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, are more efficient and can charge during the low-cost electricity hours
  • Appliance efficiency has improved dramatically over the past decade
  • Hot water heaters are more efficient and use nighttime electricity
  • Connected appliances can use less energy during peak periods
  • The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself and automatically saves energy when a homeowner is away
  • Efficient, reliable and affordable rooftop solar systems enable families to generate renewable energy and save money on utility bills
  • Connected devices enable smarter use of energy

In addition to the energy benefits directly received from the latest product offerings of Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool, the widespread deployment of smart meters (now in more than 40 million homes across the U.S.) enables households to take advantage of off-peak rates.

Utilities turning to off-peak rates

Most of today's residential electrical load on the grid occurs in the daytime hours. Electrical utilities need to ensure this daytime peak demand load does not exceed their supply capacity. Consequently, utilities in many parts of the country offer reduced energy rates for off-peak usage as a way to incentivize customers to shift their usage patterns to nighttime or early-morning hours. Discounted off-peak hours are typically between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. Off-peak pricing is normally around half as much as on-peak, but peak pricing can be as much as 10 times higher than off-peak in some parts of the country.

Examples of household electrical loads that could be shifted to off-peak hours via an automated or controlled mobile app include charging a plug-in vehicle, running a dishwasher, running a hot water heater, running the refrigerator's defrost cycle and ice-making.

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