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This 'neighborhood of the future' helps residents cut up to 40% from their monthly power bills — here's how

Each home is wired for EV charging, and homeowners can easily track their energy use through an app-based monitoring system.

Durango at Shadow Mountain

Photo Credit: Kbhome

Durango at Shadow Mountain, a community located 90 miles outside of Los Angeles, is proving to be a promising model for energy-efficient living. 

Located in Menifee, California, about a two-hour drive southeast of Los Angeles, Durango at Shadow Mountain is delivering a glimpse into what homes of the future may look like — houses that are powered independent of the grid via a self-contained power system.

The community's 78 homes, which sell for around $600,000, are each powered by rooftop solar panels and use energy-efficient appliances that can reduce energy use by as much as 40% compared to traditional homes.

Underneath the homes is a self-contained microgrid that can power the homes independently of California's energy grid. 

According to the developer, KB Home, power independence is a growing concern for homebuyers as the increasing threats of severe weather events — including wildfires, heatwaves, and hurricanes — can wipe out power for long stretches of time.

"These innovative features are designed to work together to provide a self-supporting energy system that powers a specific neighborhood with a community battery and has the capability to operate independently during a grid outage," the company said in a press release

"Working with industry and academic leaders, we plan to explore how these energy-smart connected communities can help protect the environment and turn our homes into their own power centers designed to deliver resiliency while also reducing the overall cost of long-term homeownership," Jeffrey Mezger, KB Home's chairman, president, and chief executive officer, added in the release.

According to Mezger, KB Home has been at the forefront of creating advanced technologies and energy solutions to benefit homebuyers with the potential for significant energy savings. 

It's the first builder to make every home it builds ENERGY STAR certified — that's more than 160,000 ENERGY STAR-certified new homes since 2000, more than any other builder.

KB Home says every one of its new homes in its communities, like Durango at Shadow Mountain, comes equipped with smart tech and a backup battery along with microgrid connectivity. 

Each home is wired for EV charging, and homeowners can easily track their energy use through an app-based monitoring system.

The energy-smart dwellings are all certified as DOE-designated Zero Energy Ready Homes, meaning they are so energy efficient that a renewable energy system like solar panels could offset most or all the homes' annual energy use.

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