GE plans tools to reduce household energy costs

FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT - General Electric Co. said that it is developing a package of energy saving and generating tools that could help homeowners achieve zero cost on their energy usage.

GE said that customers could use a combination of energy saving products like smart meters that closely regulate energy use in a home and solar panels that can efficiently generate and store energy. The result would be a home that would balance the amount of energy it consumes with the amount it produces.

GE said this could be achieved by 2015.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based conglomerate plans to introduce a home energy manager and a new line of thermostats next year that would help homeowners better control their use of energy. When combined with appliances like energy efficient appliances, GE said homes could sharply reduce their energy consumption.

GE said homeowners could generate energy using products such as solar photovoltaic panels, small wind turbines that generate energy and flexible thin film solar panels.

Separately, GE announced three new customers for its "smart grid" technologies that are meant to reduce energy usage across electrical networks. GE said it has deals with energy providers in Hawaii, a chemical plant in Canada and a New Zealand electricity distributor.



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