Understanding domestic appliance use through their linkages to common activities

Lina Stankovic, Charlie Wilson, Jing Liao, Vladimir Stankovic, Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin, David Murray, Mike Coleman

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Activities are a descriptive term for the common ways households spend their time. Examples include daily routines such as cooking, doing laundry, and Computing. Smart energy meter data can be used to generate time profiles of activities that are meaningful to households’ own lived experience. Activities are therefore a lens through which energy feedback to households can be made salient and understandable. This paper demonstrates how hourly time profiles of household activities can be inferred from smart energy meter data, supplemented by appliance monitors and environmental sensors. In-depth interviews and home surveys are used to identify appliances and devices used for a range of activities. These relationships between te chnologies and activities are captured in an ‘activity ontology’ that can be applied to smart meter data to make inferences on hourly time profiles of up to nine everyday activities. Results are presented from six homes participating in a UK trial of smart home technologies. The duration of activities and when they are carried out is examined within households. The time profile of domestic activities has routine characteristics but these tend to vary widely between households with different socio-demo graphic characteristics. Analysing the energy consumption associated with different activities leads to a useful means of providing activity-itemised energy feedback, and also reveals certain households to be high energy-using across a range of activities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Event8th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting - Switzerland, Lucerne, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Aug 201528 Aug 2015


Conference8th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting
Abbreviated titleEEDAL'15
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • smart energy meter
  • smart energy control
  • appliance monitors
  • household energy use


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