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UPDATE: Smart Energy Home of the Future continues to save member a yearly average of 35 percent on energy

First Electric Cooperative upgraded an existing house with home automation technology to create a Smart Energy Home of the Future to educate members about energy savings. Since October 2019, Tori Smith of Jacksonville saved a yearly average of 35 percent or $611.60 on her electric bill after her 1,670 square foot home in the Base Meadows neighborhood received the Smart Energy Home of the Future Makeover.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, interest in connected or smart home automation technology is trending upward among consumers and manufacturers are responding with a growing list of smart products, including programmable thermostats, LED light bulbs, power strips, water heaters, solar panels and more.

“Our goal is to show our members how home automation technology can make a significant difference with energy savings,” said Tonya Sexton, vice president of Marketing and Development. “In the 1950s, First Electric educated our members on the benefits of using electric appliances. This is the modern-day version of that where we will use this Smart Energy Home of the Future to educate members on how home automation technology can help to lower their electric bill."

Smith's home built in 2006, was identified among several homes that could be good candidates for energy efficiency improvements and home automation integration. Current efficiency, technology and solar viability were considered and based upon the results — Smith’s home was chosen as the Smart Energy Home of the Future.

Home automation technologies used in the upgrade include:

  • 3.5k Solar Array donated by Today’s Power, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
  • Rheem Performance Platinum 50 gal. hybrid high-efficiency smart tank water heater
  • Google Nest, smart programmable thermostat
  • Google Smart Light LED kit
  • Smart LED bulbs
  • Google Home Hub and Google Home mini smart speakers
  • Google Nest Yale door lock
  • Ring video doorbell

“I have been able to save more money and use that extra money to put back into my home,” Smith said. “I love the convenience the upgrades have provided. My favorite is the automated technology like the Nest thermostat and Google Home. The overall savings make me and my bank account very happy.”

Solar panels helped Smith to save energy usage on her electric bill. "I tell family and friends to look into solar panels due to the huge energy and financial savings," she said.

Smith uses the First Electric mobile app to manage her account from anywhere. She said it’s all about convenience and loves seeing low bills every month.

"I have really enjoyed this experience and the benefits of the smart energy upgrades," Smith said.

For more information on how to turn your home into a Smart Energy Home of the Future, contact us at 800-489-7405.


Solar Installation

View Solar Installation video in full screen.

Homeowner Interview

View Homeowner Interview video in full screen.

Integrated Smart Technology

View Integrated Smart Technology video in full screen.

Programmable Thermostat

View Programmable Thermostat video in full screen.

Heat Pump Water Heater

View Heat Pump Water Heater video in full screen.

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