Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Demonstration of a Home Automation System Enhanced for Energy Management & Research Display:Demonstration of a Home Automation System Enhanced for Energy Management Research Display(ST9316-1)

Steven Winter Associates, Inc.


Several energy control and monitor systems, known as Home Energy Display and Management Systems, (HEDAMS), are available to homeowners to purchase, but if installed are frequently underutilized. Programmable thermostats, web based monitoring and others comprise this portfolio that can be confusing to use and expensive to purchase. These systems tend to be complex and are not deployed in large enough quantities to actually influence electrical and heat load controls. Residential homes do not have targeted control systems that can offer control to electrical load shedding and standby modes or control thermal loads. In addition to this, past energy usage is not known, and learned behavior of house occupancy with usage is not available.

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Project Description

This project will examine all of the systems in a residential building that can be controlled, then place a value on each component of control to determine its feasibility. From that cost/benefit matrix the contractor will proceed to select system features that will provide control to the homeowner. A terminal will be created and placed in a number of demonstration residential buildings to determine ease of use, applicability and economic benefit.


Enable residential building owners the opportunity to control their overall energy use, and lead to cost reductions. Project outcomes are to be widely disseminated and provide useful information on household integration issues, consumer acceptance, and quantified energy bill savings.

Project Results

This study confirmed that awareness of both fossil and electrical energy uses can be enabled through various display and control system technologies. The homeowner has to value the potential energy savings in order to make initial purchase that raises awareness and could promote energy savings. Phase I of this project produced a matrix of home energy display configurations, identified in the Final Report. Phase II of the project was to develop a prototype that could be built and installed. Lack of NY Manufacturer content and interest for Phase II, the project was reduced to Phase I only. A cost/benefit matrix for various levels of HEDAMS that could be used within a home was developed. To assess the cost/benefit of the HEDAMS, an annual cash flow analysis was used as the economic indicator driving the research. Cost neutrality was determined by financing the incremental installed costs over a 30-year mortgage at an assumed 7% interest rate. In all cases modeled (existing, new and efficient construction) the majority of features were determined to be cost neutral or better. Three options are recommended for potential future development; HEDAMS light, which focuses on whole house electric and natural gas display, HEDAMS, which also includes hot water temperature and consumption, lighting and thermostat controls, and HEDAMS Pro, which includes monitoring of individual electric loads and control for auxiliary power switches.


Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
61 Washington St
Norwalk, CT 06854

Principle Investigator

Dianne Griffiths

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9316-1

Last Updated: 2/27/2012