Research and analysis

Barriers and Benefits of Home Energy Controller Integration

Capability assessment of home energy controllers, analysis of barriers to their integration, and evaluation of potential costs and benefits. This report was commissioned under DECC.


Barriers and Benefits of Home Energy Controller Integration report

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A capability assessment of over 100 home energy products was carried out and a database created.

Barriers to their integration were analysed. Key barriers identified were: Lack of engagement of customers in heating and home energy use; Inability of consumers to use heating controls; High initial costs for smart control devices; Barriers to half hourly settlement, needed for some DSR services, and availability of smart (e.g. time of use) tariffs.

Evaluation of costs and benefits lead to the following key findings:

  • The plausible ways the consumer may interact with the original and ‘smart’ heating controls lead to very different outcomes in the change in fuel bill.
  • DSR activities to reduce peak demand and provide frequency response could lead to significant value for the household, particularly in households with electric heating.
  • Smart lighting and appliances offer a relatively poor economic benefit, but uptake is likely to be driven to a greater extent by improved user experience and convenience.
  • The economic case for smart management of micro-generation with electrical or thermal storage is marginal, but could become attractive under falling battery prices or large peak/off-peak electricity price differentials.
Published 16 November 2016