Multiple Benefits through Smart Home Energy Management Solutions—A Simulation-Based Case Study of a Single-Family-House in Algeria and Germany
From both global and local perspectives, there are strong reasons to promote energy efficiency. These reasons have prompted leaders in the European Union (EU) and countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to adopt policies to move their citizenry toward more efficient energy consumption. Energy efficiency policy is typically framed at the national, or transnational level. Policy makers then aim to incentivize microeconomic actors to align their decisions with macroeconomic policy. We suggest another path towards greater energy efficiency: Highlighting individual benefits at microeconomic level. By simulating lighting, heating and cooling operations in a model single-family home equipped with modest automation, we show that individual actors can be led to pursue energy efficiency out of enlightened self-interest. We apply simple-to-use, easily, scalable impact indicators that can be made available to homeowners and serve as intrinsic economic, environmental and social motivators for pursuing energy efficiency. The indicators reveal tangible homeowner benefits realizable under both the market-based pricing structure for energy in Germany and the state-subsidized pricing structure in Algeria. Benefits accrue under both the continental climate regime of Germany and the Mediterranean regime of Algeria, notably in the case that cooling energy needs are considered. Our findings show that smart home technology provides an attractive path for advancing energy efficiency goals. The indicators we assemble can help policy makers both to promote tangible benefits of energy efficiency to individual homeowners, and to identify those investments of public funds that best support individual pursuit of national and transnational energy goals.
energy efficiency; smart building; multiple benefits; smart environments; homeowner benefits