Ross Bridge Smart Neighborhood

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Alabama Power is partnering with Signature Homes, Southern Company, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and technology vendors to introduce Smart Neighborhood™ by Alabama Power.

Equipped for tomorrow and efficient today, this state-of-the-art community of 62 homes will feature emerging energy-efficient technologies, materials and appliances, and a community-scale power system.

Ross Bridge Smart Neighborhood

Smart Neighborhood – to be located at Signature Homes’ new Reynold’s Landing community at Ross Bridge in Hoover – is a research and demonstration project where energy usage and performance data are collected from the homes’ innovative features. The information will be analyzed to understand how the features can improve the ways homes are built and function to make people’s lives easier.

Information from the HVAC systems, heat pump water heaters and other technologies will help Alabama Power determine which programs and services can provide new, creative energy solutions for customers.

“Customers today expect energy solutions that fit their lifestyles, and that is the idea behind Smart Neighborhood by Alabama Power,” said John Hudson, senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development. “Our goal is to continue to enhance our customers’ experiences and to ensure they have more control over their energy use.”

The energy for Smart Neighborhood will be provided by the existing electric grid, as well as a community-scale power system called a “microgrid,” which is composed of solar panels, battery storage and backup generation. The microgrid will have the capability to generate more than 586,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, the amount needed for a neighborhood the size of Reynold’s Landing.

Information and data collected from the microgrid will provide Alabama Power with valuable operational experience as the company evaluates microgrid technology. Data from Smart Neighborhood will be collected for two years.

“This project is another example of how Alabama Power continues to be at the forefront of energy research and development so it can continue to provide safe, affordable and reliable energy to its customers well into the future,” Hudson said.

Each technology-enhanced home in the Smart Neighborhood will be equipped with:

  • A high-efficiency Carrier Infinity® heat pump and Rheem hybrid electric water heater
  • Tech-connected automation: Carrier Infinity Greenspeed® intelligence home comfort system with an Infinity Touch thermostat, Rheem EcoNet mobile app and Vivint smart home system including voice-activated security, smart locks, lights, cameras and garage door control
  • Interconnected Samsung appliances from the Alabama Power Appliance Center: smart hub refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and an induction range
  • Enhanced energy-efficient building features: improved insulation, triple-pane windows and LED lighting.

Southern Company, the parent company of Alabama Power, is supporting research for the project to better understand Smart Neighborhood-type homes and the interactions between a microgrid and the existing electric grid.

Signature Homes is the community developer and will oversee the construction and sale of the homes.

“At Signature Homes, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the lives of our customers through innovation and design,” said Chief Executive Officer Dwight Sandlin. “We could not be more proud to participate in such an exciting endeavor with top industry leaders Alabama Power, Southern Company and numerous technology vendors to deliver one of the first ever smart neighborhoods. Reynold’s Landing homes of the future will provide buyers the latest in technology, connectivity and energy saving features, and is the perfect addition to the award-winning Ross Bridge community in Hoover.”

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a research partner, providing expertise to develop practical solutions that could be integrated into homes and power grids across the nation.

Construction on the community is set to begin this summer and be completed by spring 2018. The microgrid will break ground this summer.

“Hoover has always been a strong community that leads in so many ways, and I am thrilled Hoover residents will have the chance to experience the technology and state-of-the-art benefits of Smart Neighborhood,” said Mayor Frank Brocato.

To find out more information, visit the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders’ Parade of Homes, April 21-23 and continuing April 28-30. Representatives will be onsite at the Sawyer Trail community in Ross Bridge to discuss Reynold’s Landing and Smart Neighborhood.

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Hoover annexes 103 acres on Dunnavant Valley Road

The city of Hoover has gained 103 acres and nearly 100 future homes after the Hoover City Council approved an annexation request for a property on Dunnavant Valley Road during a Nov. 2 City Council meeting.

The city of Hoover

The 103-acre property, owned by Samford University, is adjacent to The Cove At Greystone, which is contiguous to the city of Hoover.

According to Hoover City Councilman John Lyda, the 103-acre property is the location of a future 97-home neighborhood development, which is estimated to be complete in three to five years.

The neighborhood will create an estimated $38,600 in property tax for the city of Hoover and generate $197,000 per year for the Hoover City School System, Lyda said.

Currently, Hoover averages 1 child per “every 2.6 doors,” Lyda explained. Using this average, the new neighborhood is projected to add 32 students to the Hoover City School System.

Accounting for the cost of adding 32 students to the Hoover City School System, the neighborhood is still projected to generate a net gain of between $70,000 and $100,000 for the school system, Lyda explained.

Although two residents expressed concern about the burden to the city’s school system, fire department and police department, Lyda confirmed he had spoken to the Hoover Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis and Hoover Fire Chief John Wingate, and all three expressed no concern about the annexation. Read more…

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Hoover Ranks “Top 30 Cities” In United States

The 24/7 Wall St. this week ranked Hoover as being in the top 30 cities in which to live in the United States.

City Of Hoover

The website reviewed data on the 550 cities with populations of 65,000 or more and considered variables such as employment growth, crime rates, educational attainment and housing affordability. 24/7 Wall St. named the top 50 cities in which to live and put Hoover at No. 28. Hoover was the only city from Alabama on the list and one of 15 in the South. The labor market was a key consideration in the website’s rankings. In order to be considered, a city needed positive employment growth between 2011 and 2013. Seventy cities did not meet this standard, but Hoover had a 2.17 percent employment growth in that time period, according to 24/7 Wall St. Hoover’s unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in 2013 was lower than in all but eight cities reviewed and ranked as the fourth lowest rate among the top 50 best places to live. The national unemployment rate in 2013 was 7.4 percent. The 24/7 Wall St. website eliminated any cities with an unemployment rate of more than 9.8 percent, which excluded more than 100 cities from consideration. Just 5.7 percent of the people in Hoover lived below the poverty line in 2013, versus 15.9 percent nationally. Hoover’s median household income was $70,583 – far higher than the national median but twice as high as the median home value in Alabama, according to 24/7 Wall St. The cost of living in Hoover was in line with national averages, the website said. Greystone Cities with median household incomes less than 90 percent of the state median income received a lower score, and cities that had median incomes exceeding 150 percent of the state median also were penalized for imposing high-income barriers on potential residents. Of cities with 65,000 people or more, Hoover ranked among the safest in the United States, with a violent crime rate of just 104.5 incidents per 100,000 people, based on FBI data from 2012. Roughly half the 550 cities examined were excluded from consideration for the top 50 because they had property or violent crime rates that were at least 25 percent higher than the 2012 national rates. According to the RealtyTrac housing market data site, “quality of education is the No. 1 issue home buyers ask about,” so the 24/7 Wall St. website also evaluated cities based on average test scores in their schools compared to their state average and the percentage of adults age 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree (56 percent in Hoover). Hoover’s overall education score was the 22nd highest among the top 50 best places to live, though not necessarily the 22nd highest in the nation. Other factors considered, to a lesser extent, by 24/7 Wall St. were the environment, available leisure activities and infrastructure. Hoover’s environment score ranked 28th among the top 50, taking into account factors such as air quality, average temperatures and amount of rainfall. The city ranked 23rd among the top 50 in leisure activities, considering the availability of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, theater companies, sports teams, golf courses, parks, playgrounds and zoos. Hoover ranked 43rd among the top 50 in infrastructure. The website considered things such as the accessibility of airports and hospitals, the percentage of residents who use public transportation or walk to get to work, and the average commute time to work. In Hoover, the average commuter spends 24.4 minutes getting to work, which ranked the city 27th among the top 50 cities in commute time. Go to the 24/7 Wall St. website for more details on each of the top 50 best cities in which to live, or read more about the website’s methodology in conducting the rankings. Read more… View current houses for sale in Hoover AL

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