Utilizing smart home data to support the reduction of energy demand from space heating – insights from a UK field study

It is anticipated that the wider deployment of Smart Home systems will give building occupants improved control and automation capabilities over building conditions, services and equipment. These smart technologies will also provide numerous streams of data which could help to identify opportunities to reduce energy demand in homes. This paper explores this topic by focusing on data gathered from Smart Home systems, installed in a sample of five UK homes, which provide occupants with advanced zonal space heating control. Initial results suggest that Smart Home data can generate useful information to assist energy demand reduction; including the identification of excessive heat loss from specific rooms, periods of unoccupied heating, and heating system characteristics that lead to suboptimal heating patterns. Practical issues encountered during the field study highlight important social and contextual factors that can influence the quality of data recorded. These factors could potentially impede the wider adoption of Smart Home technologies with zonal heating functions. This work is continuing and the next steps are to calculate the energy savings which would result after data from Smart Home systems was used to identify inefficient homes, systems or practices.