KB Home is supplying its buyers with a new weapon in the war on high utility bills: energy-monitoring systems that will allow them to track their home’s consumption in real time.

The systems, which will come standard on all of the company’s homes, operate via a web-based portal that is accessible from mobile devices and home computers. Homeowners can track their energy usage in dollars and kilowatts by the day or even by the hour.

The Wiser home management systems from Schneider Electric can be upgraded to include home automation features such as remote door, lighting, thermostat, and security system operations. Buyers also can choose to add in items like smart plugs that provide monitoring of single items such as appliances or computers.

Similar to the way in which a car's dashboard provides drivers with information about the performance of their vehicles, the home management system will provide KB homeowners with data about their home’s performance, says Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer of KB Home. He predicts that the tool will empower homeowners to reduce energy consumption by making better use of their dwelling’s energy-conserving features. All KB homes are Energy Star certified and include WaterSense-labeled fixtures.

“This system is a sign of our times,” Mezger says. “Not only do consumers want ‘smart’ phones, they want ‘smart’ homes as well.”