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Homes of the Future

The future of all-electric, high-efficiency, grid-interactive homes seems near at hand from the floor of the CES 2023 event in Las Vegas. The massive annual extravaganza has long been the showcase for high-tech consumer electronics, including the latest in ​“smart” home automation systems, energy controls, and electric appliances.

It’s a transformation that can’t come soon enough. Burning fossil fuels in buildings accounts for roughly 10 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, according to think tank RMI, making the conversion to electric heating a primary target for decarbonizing homes. (Canary Media is an independent affiliate of RMI.)

Eventually, entire neighborhoods could connect to form the building blocks of self-balancing, self-supporting clean energy networks, sometimes referred to as virtual power plants for systems that interoperate with the grid when it’s up and running, or microgrids for systems that can keep themselves powered when the larger grid goes down.

But to arrive at this future, we’ll need to solve a lot of fundamental challenges first.

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