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The GE Appliances and Savant Partnership Might Be One of the Coolest Things to Come Out of KBIS 2024

Written by Rob Stott

March 1, 2024

To be clear, there were a ton of exciting and unique things on display at the 2024 edition of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) – the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) annual expo. The list of Best of KBIS award winners alone features some really exciting innovations. FreePower, a CES 2024 Innovation Awards honoree, was recognized as the Best in Show for its wireless charging surfaces that could be used in various applications like kitchen countertops and side tables. Whirlpool received a gold award in the Game Changing Innovation category for its JennAir SlimTech insulation column refrigerator. And there was Novy, a Middleby brand that was recognized in the same category for their luxurious and design-forward lighting products.

All insanely cool in their own right.

What makes the partnership between GE Appliances and Savant Systems stand out is the potential it has to impact more than just the end user. Leveraging the expertise of both brands in their respective categories, GE Appliances and Savant are aiming to assist consumers in their personal journeys towards net zero energy or lower carbon emissions goals.

Announced earlier this month, the GE Appliances EcoBalance System, developed in partnership with Savant, creates a “first-of-its-kind system” that brings together energy-efficient smart appliances, energy storage solutions, electric vehicle chargers, energy-demand solutions and other smart home products to help users monitor and manage their energy usage.

There’s a lot to unpack there, which we’ll do in a moment. But consider this scenario for a moment: In a home that runs on this new EcoBalance System, a consumer can – in the event of a power outage – rest easy knowing that their smart GE Profile refrigerator (available in-market now) will continue to be fully functional thanks to the Savant Refrigerator UPS – Battery Backup. And, because the home also has a full-scale Savant Power Storage system, the energy captured by the solar panels during the day can help power the rest of the home until power is restored, ensuring the GE Cync Smart Thermostat can still control the GE Inverter Heat Pump HVAC system (both available now), and the GE Profile Geospring Heat Pump Water Heater (coming in 2025) will still deliver hot water to every corner of the home.

And all of this can be monitored and controlled through a single app.

“We’ve partnered with a company that, like us, puts our customers and users at the heart of everything,” Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of GE Appliances, said in a statement ahead of KBIS.  “This best-in-class ecosystem we’re building allows people access to the innovation and reliability of two companies with proven track records of performance and being on the leading edge of technological advances.”

The list of products that will be available within the EcoBalance System runs the gamut. GE Profile and Monogram smart and energy efficient appliances will integrate into the system, including refrigerators, dishwashers, cooking devices, heat pump washer/dryer combo unit, heat pump HVAC system, and heat pump water heaters. On the Savant side, consumers and builders can leverage load management, inverters, batteries and electric vehicle chargers that will work seamlessly with solar panels and generators. Add on top of that the Savant lighting and smart home products in its portfolio along with many of the GE Cync smart plugs, light strips and more.

The brands posit that any homeowner or builder can leverage the EcoBalance System to create an optimized ecosystem that brings energy independence to any home. They also say that the platform will play nice with other ecosystems (presumably Matter-based product) as well as smart grid technology.

This cutting-edge approach to energy management and energy savings is exciting for so many reasons. First, there’s the promise of this ecosystem and the positive impact it could have on the environment and local energy grids around the country. But, for as futuristic as this all sounds, many of the products and systems that make up the EcoBalance System are available today. So, it’s not something that we’ll talk about now and forget by the time it launches. It’s here now, and retailers – or custom integrators – can talk about the benefits and impact of this system with their customers and clients today.

And then, of course, there’s the affordability of this system and the potential for future energy savings. GE Appliances and Savant have said they want to ensure that these solutions are available and affordable for all consumers and that the end result is a reduction in both energy cost and energy strain on the grid.

So, yea. The energy savings story is one that I’ll always consider cool. And the evolution of the EcoBalance System is something we’ll certainly continue to follow.

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