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Open AccessArticle

User’s Perspective on Home Energy Management Systems

TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands
TU Delft, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2018, 5(12), 126;
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Energy Management for a Sustainable Built Environment)
PDF [437 KB, uploaded 27 November 2018]


A Home Energy Management System (HEMS) has no direct and immediate energy-saving effect. It gives insight into the resident’s behaviour regarding energy use. When this is linked to the appropriate feedback, the resident is in a position to change his or her behaviour. This should result in reduced gas and/or electricity consumption. The aim of our study is to contribute to the effective use of HEMSs by identifying types of homeowners in relation to the use of a HEMS. The research methods used were a literature review and the Q-method. A survey using the Q-method was conducted among 39 owners of single-family homes in various Rotterdam neighbourhoods. In order to find shared views among respondents, a principal component analysis (PCA) was performed. Five different types of homeowners could be distinguished: the optimists, the privacy-conscious, the technicians, the sceptics, and the indifferent. Their opinions vary as regards the added value of a HEMS, what characteristics a HEMS should have, how much confidence they have in the energy-saving effect of such systems, and their views on the privacy and safety associated with using a HEMS. The target group classification can be used as input for a way in which local stakeholders, e.g., a municipality, can offer HEMSs that are in line with the wishes of the homeowner. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy consumption; energy use; home energy management systems; home owners; target group segmentation energy consumption; energy use; home energy management systems; home owners; target group segmentation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Straub, A.; Volmer, E. User’s Perspective on Home Energy Management Systems. Environments 2018, 5, 126.

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