The 2024 Concept Home by Livabl lets potential homeowners experience a simplified and attainable way of living using the latest smart technology.

Schneider Electric is a founding sponsor of the Livabl Virtual Concept Home. We spoke to Bradford Wills, Schneider Electric’s director of strategic customers and programs, home and distribution, about its participation in the project.

What does Schneider Electric provide to homeowners, and what makes it unique?
Schneider Electric is the worldwide leader in electrical distribution and control. Historically, what we are and will continue to be, is the base fundamental safe use of electricity, whether it’s residentially, commercially, or industrially. Approximately 80% of all the electrons in the United States flow through a piece of Schneider equipment. So, that’s paramount. As we evolve, it’s about getting to the next level and continuing to help you use it safely and more efficiently. As the energy platform becomes more complex, people are moving away from having an electric utility to having solar, batteries, or a generator.

Then the complexity of that demand requires further safety and increased digital capability to be easily managed. In short, what Schneider is doing in every segment is helping the customer use that energy more efficiently to be more sustainable and resilient. And now that’s coming to the residential space.

Why did Schneider Electric want to participate in the Livabl Virtual Concept Home?
Historically in the residential space, we’re that gray box in the garage that everyone walks by and never really thinks about. So, the challenge is to say, “This is now a connected ecosystem of the home and needs to be viewed digitally.” The Livabl Virtual Concept Home is the perfect format for us to help consumers make that transition in their minds to say, “Hey, my electrical distribution system, fuse box, circuit breaker box, and my outlets and switches are part of a digital electrical distribution control solution for my home that I need to interact with and automate.”

Which products is Schneider Electric including in the Virtual Concept Home and why?
It’s not only that standard electrical distribution and load center. It’s a smart panel that allows you to use electricity safely and to see when and where you’re using that energy. You can also see abnormal uses of that energy. We also have smart devices. For example, certain things like your HVAC unit and water heater make perfect sense to control and monitor the panel because the breaker is only connected to that one thing. Other products with other circuits have multiple items plugged into them. Now we can take the monitoring control down to the plug level, literally down to a plug or switch, so you can see what’s happening.

But also, we have our complete Schneider Home Solution, which now includes the inverter, the battery, and the EV charger, so that the entire ecosystem will be one platform. The value of that in the physical world is it makes it a lot easier to install and commission. But for the user from a digital standpoint, imagine if you had one manufacturer for the smart panel, one manufacturer for the inverter, another for the battery, one for the EV charger, and a fifth for your smart devices in the house. Now you have five different apps to determine when and how to use them. So, we bring that down to one simple energy management solution for the home.

How does Schneider Electric benefit from projects like the Virtual Concept Home?
Projects like these bring forward the digital part of the solution. We always get hung up on the physical aspects of a product. “Oh, this is a pain because this item is on this inverter, and it’s going to need this battery, and what about the EV charging?” Everyone becomes more focused on that instead of the digital experience. This is going to force more of that digital element. It’s become a revelation for folks to say, “This makes perfect sense. I’ve had this in my car forever. Why don’t I have it in my house?”

You get in a car, and your dashboard shows you everything happening. The vehicle reaches to tell you what’s happening in the car. Why don’t you have that for your house? This is going to bring that forward. Finally, there’s the breadth of people that a project like this can reach remotely. So, it really is a great opportunity for us.

To learn more about Schneider Electric, go to se.com/us/en. To learn more about the 2024 Virtual Concept Home by Livabl, visit Livabl.com.

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