Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

In the Media


Placing the Home in Context: Scale, Audience, Levels, Time, and Equity

How can digitalization help, or hinder, the wellbeing of older people who want to age in the community rather than in an institution? Responding to two papers—by Jennifer Molinsky, Samara Scheckler, Bailey Hu; and Carlos Martín—I point to five common themes: scale, audience, levels of automation, time, and equity. These issues demonstrate the complex landscape of digitalization, even when focusing on the home.

Empowering Up, Powering Down: The Evolution, Effects, and Efforts to Digitize Energy Controls and Digitalize Energy Information in US Homes

The digitization of residential energy—aided by the digitalization of information about energy usage—has spurred a revolution in energy-efficiency investments and helped spawn the “smart home” movement. This paper covers the wide terrain of residential energy digitalization by reviewing the current state of residential energy digitalization and the diffusion of its “smart” meters, controls, and network connections and information exchanges, and their evolution within the broader policy contexts of residential energy consumption.

Facing Digitalization at Home: Commentary on Digitalization Technologies for Energy and Aging in Place

Digitalization promises to improve lives in homes, reducing energy consumption and costs while increasing convenience and comfort and enabling an increasingly senior population to remain in their homes and age in place. The papers by Martín, and Molinsky, Scheckler, and Hu, describe the benefits and challenges of digitalization—in home energy and aging in place respectively—in addressing pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges in the US.