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Sears, GE Roll Out Smart Appliance Platform

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears has begun offering GE’s Brillion energy-management platform in over 100 Northeast stores, laying the groundwork for the marketplace rollout of smart home appliances.

Sears is the first retailer to offer products and components for the proprietary wireless system, which allows users to monitor energy consumption and control compatible appliances remotely.

When used with a smart meter featuring AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) and ZigBee wireless standards, and with power supplied by a smart grid-ready utility, the platform also allows GE’s Brillion-enabled majaps to automatically delay certain energy-intensive functions until an hour when electric rates are lower.

The partners are kicking off the program with a GE programmable thermostat and the manufacturer’s GeoSpring high-efficiency hybrid electric water heater, although smart washers, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers are also in the pipeline.

The products come with a Brillion starter kit that includes a communication module to enable remote control of the majaps, and a Nucleus home manager that tracks energy consumption and conveys the data wirelessly to a PC or mobile device via email or text alerts.

“Sears can now offer shoppers in these markets unprecedented insight into and control over their home energy use by getting connected with GE Brillion products,” said Sears appliances president Steven Haber. “This makes it easy and compelling for our customers to save money on their energy bills and is an excellent example of how Sears is committed to offering products to our customers that improve their lifestyle and help them save money in the process.”

Added Dave McCalpin, GE Appliances manager of home energy management: “We are thrilled that Sears is the first retailer to offer our GE and Brillion-enabled products. Providing a connected solution that allows consumers to take control of their home and gain insight, convenience and peace of mind to help them live more productive lives while saving money, will offer shoppers a unique solution that they can only get at Sears.”