California’s First Ever Microgrid Town Is Here

Within the all-electric community, built by KB Home, the houses are designed to use 40% less energy than the average U.S. household.

The future has arrived for homeowners in Menifee, California. KB Home—a leading homebuilding company in the United States—has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, University of California, SunPower, Schneider Electric, Irvine, Southern California Edison, and Kia to create the first-ever all-electric, solar- and battery-powered microgrid community.

The community’s 200 custom, built-to-order properties, nestled among the Shadow Mountains, will all connect to a solar- and battery-powered grid. The project’s goals are to reduce a homebuyer’s carbon footprint, increase access to long-term home ownership, conserve energy, and reach a level of intentional connectivity that brings communities together.

Thanks to several innovations, the homes are designed to decrease energy usage by 40% when compared with the national average usage. New technology includes everything from a compact air-sourced heat pump to a backup battery offering 33-kilowatt hours of energy. The homes’ cutting-edge features are designed to feed into a self-supporting energy system that powers each neighborhood with a community battery and has the capability to operate independently during a grid outage. There are also EV chargers wired into the home as an additional source of energy.

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