We mentioned here the strategic partnership between Ford and energy companies with smart appliance makers to better help you manage energy use, lowering bills while helping the environment. Ford’s MyEnergi Lifestyle integrates plug-in vehicle, smart appliances and energy management.
Most people don’t understand the broader implications of plug-in vehicles. Plug-in vehicles, electric vehicles, EV or plug-in hybrids, PHEV, hook into your home’s electric grid and can become temporary mobile energy storage units feeding back electricity during peak-time it got off-peak hours.
Dollars & Sense. Plug-in vehicles are becoming the catalyst for adoption of smart products that reduce CO2 and save money with better energy management. Vehicles, such as the Ford C-MAX, Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and the Focus Electric can charge at home during off-peak hours. With the greater efficiency to date of appliances, such as more efficient hot water heaters using nighttime electricity, by adding connected smart appliances the typical American family can use less energy during peak periods, therefore save money and reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, the Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself and automatically saves energy when a homeowner is away. Add to this an efficient and affordable solar panel system to generate your own renewable energy that saves you money and an array of connected smart devices and you have an intelligent home.
Smart Meters Make It Possible. With the usage from the latest smart meters installations, now in more than 40 million homes across the U.S., the energy benefits can be further leveraged by products and systems from Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool. This widespread deployment of smart appliances, plug-in cars and energy management features enables households to better manage their energy usage and save money, while lowering their carbon footprint.
Balancing Grid Load & Demand. By using off-peak rates, the residential electrical load on the grid offloads strains from daytime heavy to load to low use night time. Electrical utilities can then ensure this daytime peak demand load does not exceed their supply capacity and essentially rebalance the load to nighttime use. Increasingly utilities are offering reduced rates for off-peak usage, typically between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., with off-peak pricing around half as much, which can save a household more money.
Much of a household electric demand can be shifted to off-peak hours via an automated or controlled mobile app, which can include charging a plug-in vehicle, running a dishwasher, a hot water heater, or the refrigerator’s defrost cycle and ice-making at night, for example. Data from electric utilities indicate power generation uses a higher percentage of clean/renewable energy sources during off-peak hours, which reduces CO2 footprints. It makes financial sense to use nighttime electricity for such products.
Ford’s MyEnergi Lifestyle Value. The value with this system from Ford is that it allows for a smarter use of charging plug-in vehicles off-peak with the use of the MyFord Mobile app. By using cloud computing to automatically charge the vehicle when utility rates are lowest, this minimizes the cost to charge a plug-in vehicle, thus lowering vehicle ownership. By enabling the app to manage the vehicle without worrying about high prices, the network monitors utility rates and automatically signals your vehicle to charge. So far, Ford seems to be the only automaker to offer this comprehensive value.
The Power of Choice. Keeping true to its philosophy of Power of Choice, Ford’s electrified vehicles become part of this comprehensive system that saves energy in the long run. By using the MyEnergi Lifestyle with any of Ford’s electrified vehicles, you get a smart home that uses your car. Ford’s electrified vehicles are already equipped with technologies that enable owners to maximize their energy management. For instance, the SmartGauge with EcoGuide allows for customizable displays with instantaneous fuel economy readings and coaching tips to optimize fuel efficiency for drivers. The EV+ and the built-in GPS in Ford SYNC helps the plug-in learn your frequent destinations optimizing electric-only mode.
We are just beginning to see the greater implications of plug-in vehicles with smart home appliances that together help better manage energy usage, save money, while being friendlier to the environment. Carmakers, such as Ford can help a family better manage its energy use with their electric and plug-in hybrid cars using this smart MyEnergi Lifestyle system.