Department of Business Development and Technology

Critically reviewing smart home technology applications and business models in Europe

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  • Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Imperial College London, University of Sussex, Khalifa University of Science and Technology
  • ,
  • Benjamin K. Sovacool
  • Noam Bergman, University of Sussex
  • ,
  • Karen E. Makuch, Imperial College London

Smart home technologies refer to devices that provide some degree of digitally connected or enhanced services to occupants. Smart homes have become central in recent technology and policy discussions about energy efficiency, climate change, and innovation. However, many studies are speculative, lacking empirical data, and focus on costs and benefits, but not business models and emerging markets. To address these gaps, our study presents data from semi-structured expert interviews and a review of the recent literature. Although we draw from empirical data collected in the United Kingdom, we place our findings in the context of Europe because the UK has access to European markets for smart home technologies and platforms. Our sampling strategy included experts from Amazon, Microsoft, the International Energy Agency, government, academic, and civil society stakeholders. We identify a diversity of definitions associated with smart home technologies and draw from our data to discuss applications centred on digital connections, enhanced control, automation, and learning. We analyse fifteen distinct business models for smart home technologies, ranging from energy services and household data monitoring to assisted living, security and safety, and new advertising channels (among others). Our assessment ought to guide future innovation patterns, technology deployment, and policy activity relating to smart homes, especially insofar as they can deliver energy services more affordably or help meeting carbon mitigation priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111631
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • Decarbonisation, Smart energy, Smart home technologies, ‘Prosumers’

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