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Consumers Show Willingness to Allow Utility Control of Smart Thermostats

Randy Sukow Jan 21, 2016

What do consumers who have installed smart thermostats and other smart home devices value the most? A Parks Associates survey of broadband homes asked whether consumers liked smart devices for the level of control over automated features they provide; energy savings; improved comfort levels in their homes, or low device cost. While 30 percent said they preferred the greater level of control over devices in general, about half replied that they would not object to utilities having control over their thermostats.

However, consumers’ willingness to accept utility control would come with some conditions. The Parks survey says that smart thermostat users would prefer to have a $50 rebate on the device or some other discount before entering such a program.

“Nineteen percent of U.S. broadband households currently own a smart home product, with thermostats and lighting leading the way,” said Tom Kerber, Parks Associates director, Energy and Home Controls in a press release. “Marketing programs that take advantage of connected products in the home are a clear winner for utilities.”

In other smart home research, ABI Research’s recent Home Automation Systems Report finds that while smart devices are the leading revenue source today, service-based smart home products, such as utility thermostat control, are growing steadily. The report finds that services will grow from 20 percent of smart home revenues today to 25 percent by 2020.


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