Funder: Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) & Innovate UK
This project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem managed in partnership with Innovate UK.
Collaborators: National Energy Action (NEA), Newcastle University Business School, Northern Gas Networks
Given the UK’s target of achieving net-zero by 2050, this report presents the results of a project providing a review of the factors influencing the adoption of smart home technology. The focus of this project is on users/consumers and energy consumption at the household level, in terms the data and digital technologies for smart-home energy management. The main aim was to understand what the key factors are that aid or hinder consumers’ energy consumption reduction, assisted by the adoption of smart technology. This is important because consumers can act as vital actors in achieving the net-zero target. Still, they do not necessarily have the capacity to engage, the opportunity to participate or willingness to take the risk related to innovation adoption. The above challenges are more likely to apply to low-income and/or vulnerable consumers.
In order to address this aim and knowledge gaps, we conducted a literature review of both academic and industry sources on this topic. A wide range of factors were identified as drivers of smart energy technology adoption, and these have been grouped into six main categories:
- consumers’ perceived costs and benefits
- environmental factors
- perceptions and characteristics of the smart home systems
- users’ characteristics
- support networks and communities; and,
- policy, industry, and regulation.
Subsequently, based on these factors, we synthesised and developed a framework that is underpinned by corresponding pillars and that depicts the multiple interactions believed to concomitantly influences users’ evaluation and adoption of smart home energy technology. Following the findings of this project and the developed framework, a series of recommendations are in the report, accessible below. Also provided are the slides delivered in the dissemination webinar on 28th April 2022.