Smart homes & fuel poverty in Australia: improving outcomes or locking in vulnerabilities?

Smart homes & fuel poverty in Australia: improving outcomes or locking in vulnerabilities?

11th May 2023
Online - Melbourne Time
Webinar announcement: women using smart controls in house

Smart technologies are increasingly being integrated into new and existing housing.

Advocates of using smart technologies in homes argue that such technology have the potential at the household level to improve environmental impact, energy performance, cost of living and health outcomes.

However, there are increasing concerns that these benefits will only be for those who can afford the technologies, further leaving vulnerable households behind. There are also fears of unintended consequences such as the inclusion of more technology leading to increased energy consumption.

Join us for a panel discussion of emerging research and thinking around smart homes and fuel poverty from the Australian context. Four panellists will come at this topic from different perspectives and cover a range of emerging research, policy and practical implications of smart homes and vulnerable households.


The session is live on 11th May 2023 from Melbourne at 7pm local time. The equivalent time is 10am in London and 11am in Brussels.


Sophia Maalsen is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and is interested in the role technology plays in mediating and managing the everyday experiences of home, including understanding how the smart home might materialise and influence these relationships across share households.

Sophia’s Slides (pdf)

Alan Pears

Alan Pears AM (Member of the Order of Australia) is a Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT University and a Fellow at University of Melbourne. He works on clean energy and green buildings and has been involved in developing policy, support and research to deliver improved sustainability outcomes in Australia for many decades.

Alan’s Slides (pdf)

Rex Martin is a Research Fellow at Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab, where he explores how people use and think about energy and smart (energy) technologies in everyday life.

Rex’s Slides (pdf)

Damian Sullivan Damian leads the Climate Change and Energy team in the Social Policy and Research Centre at BSL. Damian has substantial experience in policy, research and innovative pilots across energy affordability, energy efficiency, and climate change, with a focus on the social impacts.