How We’re Transforming A 1950s Malibu Bungalow into an Energy-Efficient Home of the Future

Energy smart, environmentally sound.

By Camille Styles
In Partnership With Schneider Electric
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Small changes, repeated over time, can make a big impact—and nowhere is this more true than in our homes. With our Malibu home, I’m turning to Schneider Electric to create a space that’s both energy-smart and environmentally sound. 

For the renovation of our 1950s Malibu bungalow, we saw an opportunity: to create the most energy-efficient space possible. Since we’re re-imagining this house almost from the ground up, I wanted to start right. Together with architect Douglas Burdge, and our team of builders, we’re incorporating Schneider Electric’s advanced smart energy infrastructure to create sustainable, reliable energy in the home. It’s a critical step that I think of as the most responsible way forward. Homes today are more than where we sleep, work, relax, work out, and entertain. It’s important that we have energy solutions to manage our energy smarter, all while making life easier.

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Efficient Energy: Where It Begins 

I’ll admit—I’ve always wanted to be more energy-efficient but lacked the knowledge to make it happen. With Schneider Electric, I see our new energy system as both an education and an opportunity. 

It starts with the source: Schneider Electric is implementing its state-of-the-art energy system products, including the Wiser Energy monitor and the X Series connected devices. This will give us an efficient means of energy and ways to monitor our electricity use in real time. We’ll have the ability to see how much energy day-to-day things, such as using the dishwasher and leaving on the bathroom lights, actually take.

“Understanding where and when your home uses electricity is the first step to making smart decisions on how to reduce it,” says Schneider Electric’s senior marketing manager April Lisonbee, who is often surprised by the electricity consumed by “always-on” things in our homes, like a plugged-in printer. 

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A Clear View—From Anywhere in the World

With our new Schneider Electric products, we’ll have all the home’s energy info at our fingertips. A remote monitoring and control system accessed via an app will allow us to see and monitor the energy being used in our beach home—no matter if I’m in Malibu, Austin, or another country.

If a light turns on unexpectedly, I’ll receive an alert so I can turn it off remotely. The same goes if someone leaves on the stove. And when a coastal California storm happens, I can easily access the SE Energy Center smart panel to kick in the backup solar battery to keep essential devices powered on. These features add up to smarter habits. Automation is way more than convenience—it enables you to make more environmentally conscious decisions because the technology does the heavy lifting.

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Smarter Usage = Greater Benefits 

These days, implementing efficient electricity is not only smart, but it’s also requisite. Our homes account for 34 percent of all carbon emissions because of infrastructure and energy sources, points out Lisonbee. Traditionally, electricity comes from the utility and power grid, which is produced by burning fossil fuels. “If we can reduce electricity usage by being smarter and more efficient, we can reduce a lot of carbon emissions,” says Lisonbee, who has seen customers reduce their energy use by up to 40 percent with Schneider Electric’s Wiser Energy power monitor. 

This not only excites our family, but also puts my mind at ease. Practically, this will reduce our electricity usage and save money, but it will also play a role in our part to help lessen the impacts of climate change. Having this awareness will allow us to make decisions aligned with our values.