Herbert Hoover never actually promised "a chicken for every pot, a car in every garage" in his 1928 campaign, but the message is associated with the former US president. Now, 85 years later, KB Home is envisioning a green world where the car in all those garages is a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid connected to the home's "smart" utility functions designed to cut energy usage.

The homebuilder, which is showing off a concept home in San Marcos, CA (about 35 miles north of San Diego), is showing off the ZeroHouse 2.0 model home. It can be programmed to charge up the C-Max plug-in at nighttime, when energy rates are lower. Other green features include having its refrigerator make ice at night (again, during off-peak hours) and including systems that cut water use by 20 percent compared to similar-sized homes.

Through March, Ford has sold 1,166 C-Max Energi vehicles, almost exactly half as many as its primary competitor, the Toyota Prius Plug-in. Read Ford's press release below.
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Home Is Where the Hybrid Is: KB Home Features Ford's MyEnergi Lifestyle
  • Collaboration pairs Ford C-MAX Energi and other energy-efficient technologies with KB Home's ZeroHouse 2.0 model home to showcase affordable sustainable living
  • KB Home to feature Ford's MyEnergi Lifestyle® in ZeroHouse 2.0 in San Marcos, Calif.
  • ZeroHouse 2.0 represents the next generation of energy-efficient home design that can help lower cost of home ownership compared to a typical resale home. A fully optioned ZeroHouse 2.0 could entirely eliminate monthly electricity charges
  • With a starting price of $29,995, Ford C-MAX Energi is America's most affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle
DEARBORN, Mich. & SAN DIEGO, April 19, 2013 – Ford Motor Company and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) today announce that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle® will be featured in the homebuilder's ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.

The relationship between these two innovative leaders is intended to raise awareness of MyEnergi Lifestyle benefits and provide a showcase for electric-powered vehicles, solar power systems and smart appliances. The initiative will demonstrate how the typical American family can potentially save money while reducing their impact on the environment by combining a highly efficient home design with the latest in smart home technology and an affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle.

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.

At an event today in San Marcos, Ford's all-new C-MAX Energi was on display and plugged into ZeroHouse 2.0's built-in electric vehicle charge station, which is engineered to charge the vehicle during off-peak hours for maximum cost efficiency. C-MAX Energi boasts an impressive 100 MPGe combined, according to the EPA, plus – unlike others in the segment – returns "real car" performance with up to 195 horsepower, engaging driving dynamics and a quiet interior. With a starting price of $29,995, C-MAX Energi is America's most affordable plug-in hybrid.

"KB Home is a leader in incorporating state-of-the-art sustainable building practices, and we're thrilled to feature MyEnergi Lifestyle products in these homes," said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. "The home and vehicle share a common 'fuel' called electricity, now more than ever. Our commitment to sustainability compels us to work collaboratively to find technology solutions that are greater than the sum of the parts."

The future of net-zero energy
ZeroHouse 2.0 continues a national rollout of the net-zero energy home options KB Home began in fall 2011. The ZeroHouse 2.0 in San Marcos pushes the envelope even more, as it's the first WaterSense-labeled home built in San Diego County, and includes both a comprehensive Schneider Electric Wiser™ Home Management System and all-new Whirlpool smart appliances that incorporate Whirlpool® 6th Sense Live™ technology. The Wiser Home Management System allows homeowners to monitor energy consumption, and provides automation control via a Web-based portal or mobile application. This marks the first time these innovative products have been used by a production homebuilder.

Whirlpool's smart products allow homeowners to monitor and program their appliances through wireless networks, providing greater convenience and control over energy consumption. With Whirlpool 6th Sense Live, homeowners can set their appliances so their highest energy consumption activities happen at times when electricity rates are lowest. They can also receive alerts about the status of their smart appliances – all from their smartphones or computers.

"We're so pleased to announce our new relationship with Ford, and to have the opportunity to use our innovative new ZeroHouse 2.0 as a true model for an energy-efficient and sustainable lifestyle that we know many of today's consumers desire to achieve," said Jeff Mezger, president and CEO, KB Home. "We continue to refine our ZeroHouse 2.0 options and benefits by further developing and incorporating some of the latest new home building practices and technologies available today."

The higher efficiency of ZeroHouse 2.0 is the result of a whole-home approach – from the inside out – that includes additional insulation; upgraded HVAC systems; dual-pane, low-emitting windows; and roof-mounted solar panels by SunPower. Additionally, a WaterSense-labeled home is designed to use 20 percent less water than a typical new home. For a family of four, that's a difference of about 50,000 gallons of water a year compared to a typical home, or enough for nearly 2,000 loads of laundry and as much as $600 in annual utility bills.

At today's event students from San Marcos Middle School and local officials learned firsthand how much money can potentially be saved by living in an energy-efficient ZeroHouse 2.0 home. The students toured the home to learn about the efficiency features included, then watched as a dump truck load of schoolyard dodge balls was spilled out, symbolizing the amount of water a WaterSense-labeled home saves in less than a week compared to a typical new or resale home. KB Home announced it would make a cash donation to the school, equivalent to a year's worth of energy and water savings enjoyed by a family living in the ZeroHouse 2.0 home when compared to a typical resale home.

History of MyEnergi Lifestyle
The Ford-led MyEnergi Lifestyle collaboration is comprised of leaders in the home appliance, solar power and power management industries, and includes Eaton (NYSE: ETN), SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR). Additional featured companies include semiconductor provider Infineon (FSE: IFX/OTCQX: IFNNY) and Nest Labs, with its latest learning thermostat represented in the research and implementation phase of the collaboration.

In January Ford released results of a Georgia Institute of Technology computer model that calculated the electricity usage of a typical single family in their home for one year, and the associated savings with moving to an energy-efficient lifestyle. The cumulative results predict a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and more than 9,000 kg of CO2 (a 55 percent reduction) saved. If every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas – 32 million homes – off the power grid.

# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

About KB Home
KB Home is one of the largest and most recognized homebuilding companies in the United States. Since its founding in 1957, the company has built more than half a million quality homes. KB Home's signature Built to Order™ approach lets each buyer customize their new home from lot location to floor plan and design features. In addition to meeting strict ENERGY STAR® guidelines, all KB homes are highly energy efficient to help lower monthly utility costs for homeowners, which the company demonstrates with its proprietary KB Home Energy Performance Guide® (EPG®). A leader in utilizing state-of-the-art sustainable building practices, KB Home was named the #1 Green Homebuilder in the most recent study by Calvert Investments and the #1 Homebuilder on FORTUNE magazine's 2011 World's Most Admired Companies list. Los Angeles-based KB Home was the first homebuilder listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and trades under the ticker symbol "KBH." For more information about KB Home's new home communities, call 888-KB-HOMES or visit www.kbhome.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      They are a couple years late. This was a much more ambitious project. http://www.youtube.com/theonetonnelife
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow! Charge your EV at night? Who would have thought? Oh, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda... Seriously, how much money are you going to save making your ice at night? And saving water? Let's go to Home Depot and buy a water-saving toilet, shower head, etc. We don't need "Home 2.0". It's here today.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Right, so remind me again why most American homes are not using "Home 2.0" as a blueprint? Sure it's a purely commercial plan for gaining market share by commercial builder. But I like the responses of Kai and raktmn better. Because lets face it, does anyone expect the vast majority of US homes to fall in lockstep with the paradigm without nudging and, large numbers of production homes, from the major commercial builders?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Frankly, this is an awesome solution for one big reason. As a consumer, I don't have to think about each one of all the little energy updates, it's all been thought through. And instead of spending money to buy a house and then spend more money to replace and remodel things the house already has, I can just buy a house where everything is already done. Less waste, less cost, less time spend sorting all this out for myself. I hope it is successful for them.
      Conspiracy theory
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ohh ohh Ford, http://thekbhome.com/
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you have solar panels on your house, financially it makes sense to sell power back to the grid during the expensive mid-day part, then use grid power at night. But, from an environmental standpoint, unless the night-time power is wind, hydro or maybe nuclear, it isn't really 'green'. And your charger has to be smart enough to only charge when the wind turbine is producing power, or unless it 'really' needs to be charged by 7am it should start charging with whatever power is available. It will be cleaner than burning gas or diesel. Or, you can charge it at home during the day with your own solar panels and say your car is powered by the Sun.
        • 1 Year Ago
        "But, from an environmental standpoint, unless the night-time power is wind, hydro or maybe nuclear, it isn't really 'green'." Ryan, it can be quite green since the rooftop solar power plant is offsetting fossil fuel use during peak hours when power generation takes a use everything including the kitchen sink approach. At this point, small scale wind is economically inefficient and geographically limited to a very small subset of homeowners so...Solar during the day, (and if your power provider offers, the option for sourcing your grid power needs from wind) is about the "most" green option available.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        Unfortunately where I live we don't have different rates for different times of the day for residential customers, which hurts the solar equation a bit. :(
      Kei Jidosha
      • 1 Year Ago
      What’s important here is that KB homes and Ford both sell a lot of product. This raises the bar for their competition and drives broader adoption. Small costs to boost compatibility during construction can save owners big costs to add/modify those products to work together later on. Homes pre-wired for Solar and EVs with sufficient capacity to leverage their benefits will pay the up front costs many times over. And better designed, easy to use products will hold value better over time.