The Best Version of a Newly Built Home

Currently, most homes are built with no energy production on-site, no ability to store energy on-site, no smart controls on the breakers so you can’t track or control your energy usage virtually and no ability to quickly charge an electric vehicle. I call it a “dumb” home. Dumb homes are built with a paradigm created based on technology available in the 1960s. Since the 1960s we’ve made the appliances more efficient, but it’s mostly the same type of equipment doing the same stuff.

There are over a million homes built in the US each year, and thousands are built in Washington with a building boom happening in Seattle right now. Every home we build dictates the next 30+ years back to us. We will be stuck with the decisions we made today on new housing in the year 2040 when all these homes need maintenance and updates. Every home built without an ability to quickly charge an electric vehicle will have to be retrofitted with it in the next 15 years. And, that’s just to accommodate one trend of the future that is already starting today.

At Universal Electric & Solar PNW we have a vision of the future, and that future uses electrification to decarbonize our economy. The homes we build today need to be ready for the future or else homeowners will spend a lot of money retrofitting their home to adapt to new realities like electric cars and spiking energy prices. Every home built today should be future proofed, and that means installing things like solar panels. Already in Washington State we have a building code that encourages builders to install solar panels, but we now need the builders to include solar in most all their plans.

To replace the “dumb” homes of the past, we need the “smart” home of the future. A smart home should have several additional appliances installed:

  • Heat Pumps – if natural gas heat is installed a heat pump should be installed as well, even just to add air conditioning. Almost all homes should have heat pumps.
  • Solar – every home needs an ability to create its own electricity.
  • Battery – many electric utilities are introducing rate schedules that pay you to cycle your battery onto the grid daily, and many areas are experiencing increased grid instability so having a battery to back up your home is increasingly important
  • EV Charger – multiple 240v lines should be placed to where its easy to charge an electric vehicle, your normal outlets are 120v and charge a battery too slowly.
  • Electric Controls – you should be able to use an app on your phone to see how your home is using energy. As you add more electric demand to your home electric controls can be used to reduce the cost of adding more electric service to handle all that new electric load.

Universal Electric & Solar PNW works with builders to include solar in their projects. What is needed going forward is a more proactive vision to include more than just solar panels on new homes. We need that smart home of the future to be built today. Every week Universal Electric & Solar PNW is reaching out to more home builders to start a conversation on how they can bring these insights into their projects and accelerate the electrification transition.
If you are building a home, or are a builder, then contact us today to vision out the best version of your new home.

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