The practice of smart home automation – or the interconnectivity of household appliances, lighting, heating and security measures through the internet – is becoming more and more popular in the UK and abroad. One of the purported selling points of such a system is the beneficial effects it has on the environment (and on bills) by optimising the use of energy and flattening peak consumption rates.
While previous studies have appeared to support such a hypothesis, a new paper from the University of Oulu in Finland suggests this may not be the case. By using a life-cycle assessment (LCA) method of analysis, the researchers concluded that the consumption of energy of the smart devices outweighs the benefits that they offer over a five-year period. The findings cast aspersions on the efficacy of smart home automation as a viable environmental tool.