Home appliances have made huge gains in reducing energy usage. Today, the typical smart appliance, like a refrigerator, uses 70 percent less energy than one built in 1980."We're very excited to offer the MyEnergi Lifestyle retrofit to our winning families and to put it to the test," says Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. "By combining a Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicle, smart energy-efficient appliances and renewable energy generation, we hope to reduce the families' energy consumption and save them money. "Our computer models suggest we're looking at a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and a 55 percent reduction in CO 2 annually for these families through the retrofit," he adds. How MyEnergi Lifestyle works MyEnergi Lifestyle shows how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and CO 2 footprint by integrating today's plug-in vehicle technology, smart home appliances and solar energy. 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. If every home in the United States were to implement the energy-saving technologies MyEnergi Lifestyle incorporates, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas – 32 million homes – off the power grid. Along with the contest launch, during a special Mother's Day show Friday, May 10, "Katie" also surprised a member of its studio audience with her own MyEnergi Lifestyle home retrofit. Susan Berry, a substitute teacher from Ventura, Calif., was the lucky winner. "Oh man, this is fantastic," said Berry. "Now we can give our 15-year-old Ford pickup to my son, my husband can take my Ford Escape and I'll have the C-MAX Energi!" Check out Berry's reaction to the surprise here: http://www.katiecouric.com/videos/katies-biggest-giveaway-ever/.