TVA's 'robo' houses about to hit market - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TVA's 'robo' houses about to hit market

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TVA power utilization engineer Drew Frye, right, points out features of an experimental TVA energy efficient home during an open house. Photo by Paul Efird/News Sentinel TVA power utilization engineer Drew Frye, right, points out features of an experimental TVA energy efficient home during an open house. Photo by Paul Efird/News Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) - The Knoxville real estate market is about to get three new houses listed for sale after the homes sat for several years with only simulated families living in them.

The Tennessee Valley Authority's David Dinse says the utility fitted the West Knoxville houses with electrical and mechanical equipment to simulate someone living there, earning the houses the nickname "robo" houses.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1qvXISP ) says the project allowed TVA to test a range of energy efficiency measures as part of a research project with Electric Power Research Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

TVA leased the homes from a developer, and with the project finishing up this month, the houses will be offered for sale. The project began in 2009.

Builder John Kerr says many of the energy efficiency measures that TVA tried out on the houses are now incorporated in building codes.

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