KB Homes wisens up with smart home features

In an effort to step up its commitment to energy efficiency and emerging technology, KB Home announced Tuesday that all of its new homes will be equipped with "smart" Wiser home management systems. The feature will allow homeowners to monitor their energy consumption in real time from their mobile devices or computers.

"This system is ... a sign of our times," said Jeffrey Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home. "Not only do consumers want 'smart' phones, they want 'smart' homes as well."

The system allows users to view daily energy usage in both dollars and kilowatts and can be upgraded to include home automation features, such as remote door, lighting, thermostat and security.

The Wiser system is not the first step KB Homes has taken to equip its homes for the 21st century. KB Homes are all Energy Star certified and feature WaterSense fixtures, low-VOC paint, programmable thermostats and energy-conserving windows.

KB Homes is the first builder to adopt the Wiser system.

According to a 2012 report by Juniper Research, the smart home market is on pace to be valued at $60 billion by 2017, compared with $25 billion last year. The vast majority of the growth -- 82% -- is predicted to be driven by smart entertainment features.

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