Smart Home? 'Show Me The Money'

The new marketing pitch for why a consumer should join the smart home revolution may be as simple as money.

As in saving it, that is.

A new report just out concludes that home automation through the Internet of Things could reduce home energy consumption by 10%.

Savings would come from better managing household actions, specifically with connected thermostats, window covering controls, circuit-level control, HVAC zoning and lighting controls.

For example, thermostats could be remotely controlled by smartphone to increase or decrease the temperature while not at home or HVAC zoning control could change the temperature in rooms not currently occupied and adjust back when they are.

Circuit-level control would allow a homeowner to have devices that draw power when not actively used be powered off automatically and lighting could be turned on only when a room is occupied.

The report was commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, the group that runs CES in Las Vegas every January. It was conducted by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy CSE.

The main motivators to purchase smart home products like thermostats and light fixtures have been convenience, security and entertainment, according to CTA.

The study found that promoting the energy savings potential to homeowners could increase the marketability of such products.

It just may take some marketing focused on saving money to kick start the market.

Another new study found that most (72%) of residents in the U.K. are not interested in buying smart home technologies such as smart heating systems or lighting.

However, that survey of 2,000 households, conducted by PwC, also found that of those who already own a smart device, 81% notice a positive impact from smart heating.

Additionally, 95% see the benefits from their smart appliances, such as ovens that download recipes.

More than a third (37%) of consumers are likely to be swayed to adopt smart energy technology by free supplies and installation and 35% by a reduction in energy bills.

On the other hand, only 9% would be moved in the direction of smart devices by the desire to manage things through an app and even fewer (6%) to keep up with tech-savvy friends and family.

For smart home growth, at least for the moment, money is in the driver’s seat.

4 comments about "Smart Home? 'Show Me The Money'".
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  1. Mark Westlake from GearBrain, June 1, 2016 at 11:59 a.m.

    Reason so few are interested in moving in direction of smart devices is the lack of knowledge on how these devices work.  Early adopters have left the space or are not evangelising the market because they got burned.  We need to do a better job in educating consumers (especially early adopters) on how these connected devices work and which ones connect to each other.  Then we can show them the path to savings.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, June 1, 2016 at 12:05 p.m.

    Very great point, Mark. Much of these early IoT days are about managing expectations.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, June 17, 2016 at 11:48 a.m.

    It is also about privacy and tracking. How much is it worth to have your every movement tracked so others (other) can measure what you do so they can impress you enough to change what you do to what they want to sell you to use/do ? You are not the conglomerate's top priority. You are a means to their end. (Meanwhile Comcast is advertising that now you can change your password to something easy for you to remember. Yes, on the same device that you are putting in your most private information.)

  4. Joseph Mack from smarthomeSAGE, October 11, 2016 at 11:46 a.m.

    There is some signficant savings obtained primarily from the smart thermostats, but also from installing smart lighting (such as Wemo) or water consumption monitors (like the Amphiro Water Meter). I did the numbers on it and your return on investment on these devices over 5 years is around 3x. I have written about some of these other options to save money on bills in my blog

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