Title: Preferred attributes of home energy management products for smart grids - results of a design study and related user survey

Authors: Uchechi Obinna; Peter Joore; Linda Wauben; Angèle Reinders

Addresses: Design for Sustainability, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE, Delft, The Netherlands ' Research Group Open Innovation, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Rengerslaan 10, 8917 DD Leeuwarden, The Netherlands ' Research Centre Innovations in Care, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rochussenstraat 1983015, EK Rotterdam, The Netherlands ' Department of Design, Production and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper presents an insight into end-users' perception of smart grid products for households. The analysed products included three types of home energy management products (HEMPs) namely: smart thermostats, smart plugs and smart wall sockets. The analysis involved existing commercial HEMPs, as well as newly designed HEMPs from a students' project executed at University of Twente (Netherlands) in 2013 and 2014. Various industrial design methods were applied, and an online survey was utilised for data collection. The smart thermostat was considered the product with the greatest potential to stimulate energy-efficient behaviour. Features most preferred by end-users are: 1) visual display of energy information; 2) monitoring of energy use of appliances; 3) remote control, and expected ease of use. Appearance also appeared to have influenced the preferences of end-users regarding specific HEMPs. This study highlights the main features that household end-users desire in products that could stimulate energy-efficient behaviour.

Keywords: smart grid products; home energy management products; HEMPs; energy-efficient behaviour; industrial design methods; IDMs.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2018.092809

Journal of Design Research, 2018 Vol.16 No.2, pp.99 - 130

Available online: 29 Jun 2018 *

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