electric-switchboard-fixing-feature
Image – Canva.
  • Covid accelerated lifestyle trends
  • Work from home and other trends to increase energy demands

When it suddenly goes dark, and the wifi drops, frustration mounts – but is the grid to blame, or your switchboard?

Monash University’s The Future Home Life report reveals the emerging technology trends shaping the way we live now and how these trends have implications on the future energy needs of Australian households.

We can already see what is happening to energy use at home. Even before the pandemic, countless wires were sticking out of power outlets to charge phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, other smart devices, the list goes.

What Monash researchers found is that there may be trends towards more time in the home.

Associate Professor Yolande Strengers said, “… people anticipate that the home will become even more important to them as they age, with healthcare and aged care increasingly home-based. That all has consequences for energy demand,”

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the lifestyle trends we uncovered, but many householders we spoke to expect them to continue.”

Associate Professor Yolande Strengers, Monash University

Researchers also found that people are also seeking more at-home thrills, with increasing numbers “embracing a range of emerging entertainment technologies like virtual reality, setting up elaborate gaming consoles and establishing home cinemas.”

It is fairly clear there will be a massive increase in energy demands, the report recommended 10 key principles to guide and inform energy forecasting and policy:

  1. Greater insecurity in people’s lives,
  2. Bespoke systems for individuals,
  3. Care as a moral imperative to ensure health and wellbeing,
  4. Increased work flexibility, including more work from home,
  5. Generally predictable routines, with ‘sporadic’ variation,
  6. Sharing economy,
  7. More demand on the home for work, life, and care,
  8. Demand for renewables and sustainability,
  9. Continuing digital and energy divide
    and equity challenges, and
  10. Futures will shift as everyday life,
    technology and energy trends evolve and
    intersect.
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