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Smart Homes for Sustainable Energy Use: Results and Findings from a Swedish Field Study
Along with the growing deployment of smart grid technology, home energy management systems (HEMS) have gained increased interest during the past decade. Facilitated by advanced metering infrastructure, commonly referred to as smart meters, HEMS have the potential to support more sustainable household decisions concerning energy use. This study investigates the potential of HEMS to foster energy efficiency and conservation, accounting for household electricity and hot tap water use. The study draws from a field trial in Stockholm, Sweden, covering 40 residential households equipped with HEMS – including direct energy feedback and smart home features through in-home displays – during one year. Drawing from previous studies in the Stockholm area where a similar HEMS concept was used, it is hypothesized that the implementation of HEMS may lead to reductions in electricity use of approximately 5-10%, and reductions in hot tap water use of approximately 10-15%. Applying a consumer-oriented perspective, the study also aims to identify motivations and potential obstacles for households to actively engage to HEMS. In doing so, the study highlights and discusses potential benefits and challenges for large-scale implementation of HEMS in Sweden.