Of impacts, agents, and functions: An interdisciplinary meta-review of smart home energy management systems research
Smart home energy management technologies (SHEMS) have long been viewed as a promising opportunity to manage the way households use energy. Research on this topic has emerged across a variety of disciplines, focusing on different pieces of the SHEMS puzzle without offering a holistic vision of how these technologies and their users will influence home energy use moving forward. This paper presents the results of a systematic, interdisciplinary meta-review of SHEMS literature, assessing the extent to which it discusses the role of various SHEMS components in driving energy benefits. Results reveal a bias towards technical perspectives and controls approaches that seek to drive energy impacts such as load management and energy savings through SHEMS without user or third-party participation. Not only are techno-centric approaches more common, there is also a lack of integration of these approaches with user-centric, information-based solutions for driving energy impacts. These results suggest future work should investigate more holistic solutions for optimal impacts on household energy use. We hope these results will provoke a broader discussion about how to advance research on SHEMS to capitalize on their potential contributions to demand-side management initiatives moving forward.