GE Forms Home Energy Management Unit

When you think of General Electric in the home, you might think of distinct appliances such as ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers. The company is moving aggressively to change that.

In the unfolding era of alternative-energy solutions and a smart grid, GE says it is “going beyond the kitchen” and forming a Home Energy Management (HEM) unit, aiming to tie together a broad-range of products and services.

GE home energy management, Nucleus

image via GE

“Knowing what is consuming electricity, and how much electricity that appliances are consuming, can be very empowering,” Dave McCalpin, the man GE put in charge of the new unit, said in a press release. “People will be able to make smarter choices if they have information. The once-a-month electrical bill provides no insight into your usage habits. We intend to change that.”

This isn’t a totally surprising move by GE. Back in July, the company announced Nucleus, a smart-meter connected system for collecting, storing and accessing household electricity use and cost data. But the company appears to believe that Nucleus and companion products like programmable thermostats, energy displays, smart phone applications and GE Profile Appliances are cohesive enough — and potentially lucrative enough—to demand their own business unit.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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