Smart Neighborhood is a future-focused, energy-efficient community with homes that are rated 35 percent more efficient than standard Alabama homes being built today. The homes, built by Signature Homes, provide a glimpse into what residential construction may look like in 20 years, and are equipped with cutting-edge systems and appliances that give customers more control over their home’s features and energy use.
The project also includes a microgrid located near the Smart Neighborhood that is made up of solar panels, battery storage and a backup natural gas generator. It is the first microgrid in the Southeast to support an entire residential community. The neighborhood is also tied to Alabama Power’s electric grid. The neighborhood’s intelligent technology communicates with each home’s heating, air conditioning and water-heating systems to determine the best way to provide energy.
“Over the years we’ve tried to create high energy-efficient homes and it’s hard to do,” said Signature Homes CEO Dwight Sandlin. “We’ve made great progress, but the standards they wanted to accomplish in this neighborhood were way beyond our abilities. For those who understand it, they wanted a mid-40s HERS rating, which I thought was impossible, but in fact we’ve accomplished that.”
John Hudson, Alabama Power’s senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development, said the company is thrilled about the project.
“We believe this neighborhood represents a great leap forward in serving our customers and providing energy in ways to improve people’s lives like we’ve never done before.”
Hoover’s Mayor Frank Brocato and Daniel Simmons from the U.S. Department of Energy also participated in the neighborhood’s unveiling. Smart Neighborhood is now open and all 62 homes have been sold. If you want to see it for yourself, you can take a virtual tour of the homes and their innovative technology.
While your neighborhood may not be connected to a microgrid, you can still power your home with solar energy. Sign up for Greener State today to start using green energy and support more renewable projects in Alabama.