Smart home control devices: summary and assessment of energy and lifestyle marketing claims

17 January 2017

This content analysis of smart home control marketing materials indicates that the promoted benefits of these devices are not strongly aligned with energy policy objectives. Only one of 11 themes identified relates to energy and cost savings. Further, load shifting was not mentioned or promoted by any companies selling smart home control products. In contrast, several other themes identified in the analysis may undermine energy and cost savings for households (e.g. promoting higher levels of comfort, convenience and entertainment). Middle-class aspirational consumers, who represent the target market for these devices, are likely to be more interested in these ‘other’ benefits than energy savings. It is currently unclear whether these products will assist households in the current or future energy market. The subsequent empirical research being conducted as part of the Smart Home Control project will seek to understand how smart control devices are being integrated into everyday practices in households. The project will identify what benefits are realised for Australian households and how these devices may support or undermine the intended benefits of enabling technologies in the energy sector.

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Yolande Strengers, Larissa Nicholls, Tanzy Owen, Sergio Tirado, 2017, Smart home control devices: summary and assessment of energy and lifestyle marketing claims, Centre for Urban Research (RMIT), viewed 28 April 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/72305>.

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