Home energy management systems provide convenience through automation. Computers allow for homeowners to manage and control  home functions such as appliances, power, surveillance, heating and cooling units, and more. There are security and privacy concerns with smart homes (Choi, D., & Xie, L., 2016).

Hackers can access units through the internet. Security failures can open up one’s home to hackers. Data from monitoring devices can show when a person is home or away, this information could be useful to burglars. Through devices, one can also determine the identities and number of people living in a home. People can choose not to use safeguards in place such as passwords on these systems leaving them vulnerable. The home automation industry must be held to standards that keep their customers safe as much as possible (Choi, D., & Xie, L., 2016).

Two companies who have come under fire for lacking safety features are Insteon and TrendNet. Isnteaon is a home management system that was easily hacked and even had devices that didn’t require a password. TrendNet had cameras that could be hacked and controlled from afar. Such devices and home systems can allow for a hacker to have access to your home and private information giving them the ability to raise your electric bill nefariously or use your home cameras without your knowledge. While companies must be held to certain standards, users need to use devices responsibly and with intelligence. Users can use passwords and make sure that device firmware are up to date to provide them the greatest level of protection from potential threats (Hill, 2013.).

References:

Choi, D., & Xie, L. (2016). A framework for sensitivity analysis of data errors on home energy management system. Energy, 117(Part 1), 166-175. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2016.10.062

Hill, K. (2013, July 26). When ’smart homes’ get hacked: I haunted A complete stranger’s house via the Internet. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/07/26/smart-homes-hack/#45a8c8a446a5