Smart homes and the IoT changing consumer attitudes to energy

Smart homes and the IoT changing consumer attitudes to energy

Smart homes are making consumers think about energy more.

Consumers are checking their energy consumption in real time, which makes them critical of the status quo. The result? New revenue streams for providers.

Despite huge advances in green and IoT tech over the past few years, only a minority of US citizens believe that their homes are energy efficient.

According to a new study from IoT market research and consulting firm, Parks Associates, only nine per cent of American homeowners believe that their premises are using energy efficiently.

That’s despite the fact that well over half of broadband-connected households in the US (56 percent) see energy-efficient homes and technologies as being crucial to today’s interconnected economy.

A consumer/provider gap

In its report, Parks Associates argues that consumers now consider energy efficiency when it comes to purchasing connected products. It’s known to be a factor in home-buying decisions, too.

However, the firm said that there is a growing gap between energy companies and smart home providers, and the ways in which consumers are engaging with the data that’s now available to them via the IoT.

After exploring consumer engagement with energy management solutions, Parks reports that people are beginning to “check their household’s energy usage in real time, followed closely by getting an electric [sic] that is easy to read and understand”.

Important tech

Park Associates argues that, together, the smart home and the IoT play an integral role in the wider energy market, as connected thermostats and lighting solutions become increasingly popular.

“This research quantifies the thermostat and lighting markets, identifies major channels for each product, and profiles owners and those likely to purchase,” said the firm.

There’s a particular emphasis on broadband users in the study, because “connectivity also creates opportunities to build new business models”.

The report concludes: “Bundling with an array of new services has the potential to create new recurring revenue streams in the connected home.”

Changing consumer attitudes

Tom Kerber, director of IoT Strategy at Parks Associates, said consumers are beginning to shape their technology buying habits around energy efficiency.

“The disconnect between consumer expectations of home efficiency and actual performance represents a significant opportunity,” he explained.

“Utilities can serve this need by providing tools and customised recommendations to simplify decision-making, and eliminating the friction associated with making upgrades overtime.”

Internet of Business says

The report reveals that the energy market is increasingly being driven by consumer demands, thanks to the data that households – and businesses – now have at their fingertips from real-time usage over time. Connection speed is a critical factor in how fast smart energy provision and consumption can take off. Slow or non-existent broadband is a brake on innovation and progress.

Read more: IoT helps wind power match conventional fuels, says report

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Read more: Rotterdam and IBM plan to create world’s smartest port with IoT


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