smart neighborhood

US utility Georgia Power partnered with homebuilding company PulteGroup to develop a smart neighborhood in Atlanta.The smart neighborhood, the Pulte Homes Community, is claimed to be the first in Atlanta.

The Pulte Homes Community will be powered by electricity sourced from Georgia Power's main grid and from consumer on-site rooftop solar panels.

Homes in the smart neighborhood will be equipped with energy storage systems and smart technologies including optimal insulation for maximum efficiency, advanced heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, and home automation solutions such as smart thermostats, smart locks and voice control.

Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power, said: "Building the future of energy in Georgia centers on our continued commitment to offer new, flexible products and services that meet the changing needs of our customers.

"This partnership with PulteGroup provides a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate how energy companies can collaborate with homebuilders and retail partners to better serve customers today while developing new opportunities for tomorrow."

Smart neighborhood development

The Pulte Homes Community will comprise 46 households. The opening of the community is set for later this year.

The project falls under efforts by Georgia Power to increase investments in research and development of new technologies to understand how homes of the future can be better built and function.

The utility will use data collected from the pilot to develop new services for its customers and to improve the operations of parent company Southern Company and sister company Alabama Power.

Georgia Power is also conducting a research and development initiative on solar energy in partnership with the Georgia Public Service Commission and the University of Georgiaand Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Ryan Marshall, CEO for PulteGroup, added: "Through this partnership with Georgia Power, we continue to be at the forefront of energy efficiency that can shrink our homes' carbon footprint, but also make our homes less expensive to own, translating into lasting savings for homeowners."

Marshall says the partnership is his company's efforts to invest in sustainability.

In 2016, PulteGroup and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company implemented the Zero Net Energy Production Builder Demonstration programme in which energy efficient homes were built to reduce stress on the utility's main grid.