Alabama Power Smart Neighborhood receives 2019 Stars of Energy Efficiency Award

Alabama Power Smart Neighborhood receives 2019 Stars of Energy Efficiency Award
Some of the smart homes located in Reynolds Landing in Ross Bridge in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham. (Laurey Glenn)

Alabama Power is one of four companies that will receive the Alliance to Save Energy’s 2019 Stars of Energy Efficiency Award, the group announced today. Alabama Power will receive the Star of Systems Efficiency Award for developing the 62-home Smart Neighborhood in Hoover.

The alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, bipartisan group of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders working to expand the economy, also is honoring Ingersoll Rand, OhmConnect and Pepco Holdings. The awards celebrate all the companies’ accomplishments in pioneering new ways to use energy more effectively.

Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood homes in the Reynolds Landing community feature emerging energy-efficient technologies and building measures, all connected to the Southeast’s first community-scale microgrid. Homes are about 39 percent more efficient than standard new homes in the area and are equipped with technology to allow residents more control over systems and features, along with increased comfort. Alabama Power is using data from the neighborhood to provide greater understanding of energy management and insights into how homes can be built and function more efficiently.

“We appreciate this great recognition from the Alliance to Save Energy for Smart Neighborhood, which is an important part of Alabama Power’s commitment to find new and better ways to serve our customers,” said Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite. “As we continue to keep customers at the center of everything we do, we’re excited about the opportunities to use technology and innovative solutions to transform our business.”

The smart homes are built to make residents’ lives easier. Among their features:

  • A high-efficiency Carrier Infinity heat pump and Rheem hybrid electric water heater
  • Tech-connected automation: Carrier Infinity Greenspeed intelligence home comfort system with an Infinity Touch thermostat, Rheem EcoNet mobile app and Vivint smart home system including voice-activated security, smart locks, lights, cameras and garage door control
  • Interconnected Samsung appliances from the Alabama Power Appliance Center: smart hub refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and an induction range
  • Enhanced energy-efficient building features: improved insulation, triple-pane windows and LED lighting.

The Smart Neighborhood already has drawn national recognition as one of the most innovative energy projects in the country as the first featured project of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) EnergyInnovates initiative. EnergyInnovates showcases American innovators, projects and technologies shaping today’s energy landscape and laying the groundwork for the future.

Alabama Power, building off the success of its first Smart Neighborhood, developed a homebuilding program to partner with homebuilders on smart neighborhoods across the state. Holland Homes and Harris Doyle Homes are building neighborhoods in Auburn, while Curtis White Companies has a neighborhood planned for Leeds.

The Alliance to Save Energy’s awards reflect a new emphasis on reducing energy use through integrated and automated technologies, on-demand efficiency opportunities that can better balance electrical grid loads, and corporate leadership in speeding the deployment of efficiency solutions.

“Energy efficiency isn’t just about sealing the leaks or replacing old equipment; it’s increasingly about smart systems that work together to maximize savings, help reduce strains on the grid and support the integration of renewable energy sources,” said Jason Hartke, president of the alliance. “These are companies that are at the forefront of the newest active efficiency technologies and are committing to deliver more energy savings.”

The prizes will be presented Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C., at the Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards Gala, a gathering of 400 energy efficiency executives, advocates and government officials.

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