User values of smart home energy management system
Ubiquitous computing continues to transform our lives, including our homes and leisure activities. Smart home energy management system (SHEMS) are one example of such a technology. It connects homes to a smart grid and may increase the use of renewable energy by directing the demand to off-peak hours and reducing the overall energy demand. User values of such a technology may be critical in the acquisition, adoption and assimilation of the technology. This research fills the gap of understanding user values of SHEMS users. We studied new, potential and experienced users of SHEMS and their values. Sensory ethnography interview method was applied in the value sensitive design empirical investigation to elicit key user values of SHEMS in 28 families. The users relate to SHEMS values such as economic gains, environmental sustainability, comfort and security. Some SHEMS users’ values such as stimulation, creativity, and autonomy, can be in conflict with the values of other family members, and with those which are currently built in the SHEMS technologies. The recognized values of SHEMS stakeholders act as an input for the design of smart grid and smart home services and products. In addition, the research contributes to the theory-building of smart home technology user research.