Secretary of Energy Granholm visits KB Home in Menifee

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, third from left, visited the KB Homes microgrid community in Menifee. Valley News/Jessica Ussher photo

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited KB Home microgrid community in Menifee Monday, Feb. 26. The visit comes after KB Home and partners SunPower, University of California Irvine, Schneider Electric and Southern California Edison received a $6.65 million grant from the Department of Energy.

“This project shows the power of partnerships between the utility developers, homebuilders, connectivity engineers and electric car manufacturers creating a holistic energy secure place to live,” Granholm said.

While visiting, Granholm reviewed bidirectional charging, one of the latest developments in microgrid technology. Bidirectional charging draws energy from new generation electric cars allowing homeowners to charge the batteries installed in their homes.

“The unique thing is you can take a power load from your car and charge your home battery,” a KB representative said. “Specifically in this community you can put the energy back into the grid.”

Valley News/Jessica Ussher photo

The option provides homeowners with constant energy during power disruptions caused by natural disasters.

Additionally, KB Home will offer benefits such as reduced energy usage by up to 40% potentially reducing homeowners energy costs, electric vehicle chargers, real-time app based monitoring for homeowners to monitor and track energy consumption, reduced environmental impact – reducing the carbon footprint and conserving limited natural resources and reputable DOE certifications.

KB Home is committed to promoting and ensuring water efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Watersense program contributes to lowering homeowners monthly utility costs.

According to the EPA website, “Watersense labeled homes use at least 30% less water than a typical home and can save a household 50,000 gallons of water annually on average.”

Based on statistics from July 2022, KB Home has built over 18,000 Watersense-labeled and Water Smart homes and installed over 900,00 Watersense-labeled fixtures.

Granholm reaffirmed the advantages of energy independence in light of natural disasters and also spoke of the huge environmental benefits the project promotes.

“The proof of this concept is vital,” Granholm said. “We can learn lessons, bring down the costs and scale.”

For more information on KB Home and touring their model homes, visit

Jessica Ussher can be reached by email at

Jessica Ussher