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What we’re doing

This research is focused on exploring home energy management technologies. As New Zealand’s electricity infrastructure is upgraded to a Smart Grid, Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) will become the consumer interface, providing improved information about and control over household electricity consumption.  They have the potential to help reduce peak demand, reduce the risk of system overload, achieve better management of resources, and minimise the risk of service interruption.

We are using a multi-pronged approach to explore home energy management opportunities in NZ. We conducted a literature review of home energy management technologies to explore their technical capabilities and opportunities for control as well as collecting data about the technologies currently on the market. We reviewed literature of factors that have been identified to influence international uptake. And finally, we have run an online survey and choice modelling experiment with 2000 people (500 of whom we questioned about HEMS specifically).

What we’ve found out so far

The HEMS sector is growing rapidly, and the HEMS devices currently on the global market offer a wide variety of capabilities to users. In addition, it is anticipated that new and emerging HEM technologies will offer smart integrated controls across all household appliances via scheduling routines, and remote or autonomous switching of loads in response to a signal or grid stress. It is also expected that these systems will combine energy storage solutions with appliance management.

HEMS offer the potential for integrated demand response as part of New Zealand’s future Smart Grid, but their successful introduction will depend on consumer interest in new energy services and their appetite for a changed relationship with the supply sector.

For more information see our report:

Energy Transitions: Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS).