Report: future home life

Future Home Life uncovers the changing digital lifestyles and emerging home trends of everyday Australians, and speculates on how these social practices such as heating and cooling are likely to affect energy planning for future residential living.

Caption: A Digital Energy Futures research participant showing researchers her battery-powered tools

What emerging technology routines are shaping the way people live? What implications do these social practices have on the future energy needs of Australian households?

Future Home Life uncovers the changing digital lifestyles and emerging home trends of everyday Australians, and speculates on how these social practices such as heating and cooling are likely to affect energy planning for future residential living.

Research conducted by Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETLab) reveals how people’s lifestyles are changing as they integrate emerging technologies across a number of everyday practices in the home. These findings were derived from ethnographic research with 72 households in NSW and VIC, conducted online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entertainment, recreation and leisure pursuits are anticipated to become more important to home life. People are embracing a range of emerging entertainment technologies like virtual reality, setting up elaborate gaming consoles and establishing home cinemas. They are also using more devices simultaneously in different parts of the home, which may increase energy demand for heating and cooling.

As well as identifying 45 emerging trends, the report recommends 10 key principles for future home life to help guide and inform energy forecasting, energy policy and demand management programs.

Future Home Life is the second release from the future-focused social science research project, Digital Energy Futures – a partnership with the Australian Research Council, Monash University, Ausgrid, AusNet Services and Energy Consumers Australia (ECA). The Digital Energy Futures project is part of ETLab's Energy Futures research theme.

Monash research team: Associate Professor Yolande Strengers, Professor Sarah Pink, Dr Larissa Nicholls, Dr Kari Dahlgren, Rex Martin.