Smart Homes: empowering consumers for a greener future

Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA’s Director General, was invited to share the home appliance industry’s perspective at the SPARK event, in a panel featuring technology for renewable energy. 

Where are we with smart homes and how is the role of consumers when it comes to demand-side flexibility? Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General, was invited to share the industry’s perspective at the SPARK event, a conference convened by Terrapin, in a panel featuring technology for renewable energy. 

According to the APPLiA Statistical Report, there will be 4 times more smart homes in Europe by 2024, than seven years before. “The development of smart home appliances could bring about energy savings of up to more than 15% according to the 2019 JRC Report on smart homes and appliances,” kicked off  Mr Falcioni. Connected appliances function to the benefit of the smart energy grids. In turn, this increased adaptation of smart appliances by consumers could lead to reduced energy bills as well as significant comfort to households, contributing to facilitating many daily activities. 

“Mobilising the demand and creating incentives for consumers to actively participate in the energy market is key to unleash the full potential of demand-side flexibility,” explained Mr Falcioni, highlighting the importance for new business models to be developed. “As consumers, and most of all, as consumers living in an advantaged part of the world, we tend to take energy for granted,” he continued, explaining how; such a new approach would create the conditions for us to actively participate in the demand side management of energy. In this sense, “demand side flexibility should be viewed as a sustainability issue,” commented Mr.Falcioni.

The home appliance sector fully supports the EU’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and has been continuously working to optimise the energy use of its products. “As an industry, we are ready to continue taking up the challenge, and what is more, to broaden its geographical scope so as to embrace the less advantaged areas of the world,” outlined Mr Falcioni. In other words, advancing sustainable lifestyles in Europe and globally. 

Joint efforts at both the policymaking and societal level are needed to best address the renewable energy practices of European consumers, establishing a win-win scenario as the EU strives towards meeting its “green targets” and citizens are called to play a role in laying the foundations for a circular culture and, more broadly, support the transition towards a circular model benefiting the economy, environment and overall society.