Energy Association members were provided with the opportunity to see NRG Energy’s Smart House. Before the tour, which took place in what looks like an ordinary home on the outside, students learned some background about NRG and their mission. NRG Energy is an electric provider, but they are actively branching out to provide general home services and technologies that are innovative and energy efficient. The Smart house is a model of these new technologies, including solar panels, a Nest thermostat, and an energy efficient clothes dryer. Additionally, NRG has a new mobile app that allows customers to remotely control their security systems, garage doors, front door, and lights.
To conclude the tour, students were led to the air-conditioned garage to see the ultimate smart technology: a Mini E (electric car). This car can travel 156 miles after a full charge on its lithium-ion battery. It takes the car about 20 hours to fully charge, but imagine a future where you come home and plug in your smart phone, laptop, tablet, and even your car. That is the eye opening message that NRG Energy left University of Houston students with as well as a peek into the future of home technologies.