Smart Homes are becoming a reality with information and communication technologies (ICT) being increasingly present in our homes. Smart Home technology can provide a range of services including safety, security, comfort, healthcare and energy management, and are seen by companies across the world as a potential new and emerging market. A key question which this project will study is: how can the development and deployment of Smart Homes be utilised to help reduce household energy demand and consumer energy bills?
Aims and Programme of Work
REFIT is an ambitious, highly interdisciplinary research project with the long-term aim of creating a step-change in uptake rates of retrofit technology measures in UK homes. The project brings together a diverse research team with internationally renowned expertise in buildings, energy, ICT, people and design. REFIT will study the Smart Home concept and its ability to provide personalised, valued, tailored and trustworthy information on building retrofit, energy efficiency and on-site renewable technology options for UK homes.
The research is divided into five workpackages:
WP 1: Data analytic tools for Smart Home data streams
WP 2: Smart Home Field Trial
WP 3: User engagement with smart home technologies
WP 4: Definition of value propositions and user engagement
WP 5: Integration of results and retrofit decision support tool development
Smart Homes and Energy Demand
The Smart Home concept involves three characteristics:
- Monitoring – through sensor networks to capture energy, performance and occupant behaviour data.
- Control – using communication between devices for remote access and automation.
- User interfaces – via in-home displays, PCs, tablets and smartphones through cloud-based services.
The REFIT (Personalised Retrofit Decision Support Tools for UK Homes Using Smart Home Technology) project will implement a range of approaches for providing retrofit advice, based on persuasive ICT-enabled decision support tools derived from the Smart Home data, to engage householders, industry, consumer groups and policy makers, to promote long-term behaviour change and to influence retrofit purchasing decisions.