Teaching homes to be green - smart homes and the environment

Teaching homes to be green - smart homes and the environment

This report steps back from futuristic visions of smart homes to look at what the technology can offer us in the homes that we live in today. The domestic sector is responsible for twenty seven per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, so our homes have to be part of efforts to meet the UK’s ambitious carbon dioxide reduction targets. Smart features can help to address this challenge and teaching homes to be green: smart homes and the environment explores the potential for homes to become greener by getting smarter. 
With their new and different benefits, features such as smart electricity meters or intelligent heating controls have great potential to improve a home’s environmental performance. They can run homes more efficiently and help to change behaviour by providing residents with a complete picture of their energy and resource use. But this potential needs to be explored and the benefits of smart features better understood. As research takes place and a robust evidence base develops, various policy mechanisms already exist that can help to support the development and spread of smart features.
For homes to significantly lower their environmental impacts we will need as many options as possible and smart features should be part of our approach. They may not transform our homes into the kind imagined by science fiction but behind the scenes they will be getting smarter and, as a result, greener.
Faye Scott
Publication Date:
20 November, 2007

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