Are smart home enthusiasts into energy efficiency?

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Are smart home enthusiasts into energy efficiency?

Insights from Energy Pulse 2015

This year’s 2015 Energy Pulse study (now available with “optional gift wrap” for your Cyber Week consideration) confirms several suspicions and busts a theory or two.

For example, we learned that 27% of Americans could be categorized as Home Energy Efficiency Enthusiasts. And, yes, they are who you would expect them to be: upscale ($100K+), white, Boomer and Senior men and women.

We also learned that 13% of Americans are Home Technology Enthusiasts, meaning they likely already own some smart home technology, prioritize spending money on making their homes more technologically advanced, and want their homes to have an automation platform with a phone app for controlling their smart thermostat, lighting, blinds and security system. And there’s no surprise regarding who they are: upscale, well-educated, diverse, Millennial and Gen X men.

Never the two shall meet, right? Not so fast! Fifty-two percent of Home Technology Enthusiasts are Home Energy Efficiency Enthusiasts! In fact, we learned that while home security has (historically) been the primary driver for smart home technology adoption, energy efficiency is now driving purchases.

We also learned that you don’t have to be a Home Technology Enthusiast to be interested in energy-related smart home technologies like a smart thermostat or a home energy management system. In fact, the smart thermostat buyer is a lot like the energy efficiency enthusiast.

The smart home technology market is also poised to grow faster than you might think. We found that 35% of smartphone/tablet owners already manage some home function with a phone app. (That’s 25% of Americans.) And here’s the kicker: 49% of the remaining smartphone/tablet owners plan to do so within the next year. That’s almost half of the U.S. 18+ population!

This year we see the continuing love/hate affair that Americans have with energy efficiency. They want efficient homes, but they don’t like making efficient home renovations. This points to poor marketing – the ongoing disconnect between energy-efficient products/features and the drivers/emotional benefits that should be associated with them. But smart home technologies will likely be an energy efficiency game-changer. A smart thermostat, for example, provides the comfort benefits of traditional efficiency improvements without a high price tag and with a big “cherry on top” of convenience (it learns my preferences).

All of this should be setting off warning bells for American utilities. Who are all of these Americans buying their smart home technologies from? Not from you (yet).

These are just a few of the key findings from a findings-packed (175 slide) study filled with useful market projections and buyer profiles for just about every energy-efficient product, service, or likely rebate participant. We tell you what Americans think about all things energy-related and how they’re feeling about their utilities (it’s not good news).

After the holidays, keep your eye out for a couple of helpful downloadable reports that zero in on what’s needed to really grow the smart home market and the looming threat/opportunity smart homes present to utilities. And I encourage you to use some of those year-end “use it or lose it” dollars to purchase the full report.


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Posted on

December 2, 2015

About the Author

Lee Ann Head

Lee Ann is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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