Is energy savings a motivator for smart home adoption?

In the late 2000s, with stimulus funds being directed to the US energy infrastructure, energy providers quickly jumped on the smart home bandwagon, announcing plans to upgrade home energy meters, to automate the home with energy monitoring equipment, and to provide broadband over powerlines. A number of companies were formed to address the anticipated demand for home energy monitoring applications and products. Most of those companies found that selling devices to help consumers save money was a difficult task and turned their efforts to grid and meter infrastructure solutions.

With oil prices helping to drive energy prices to record highs this summer, energy savings are becoming more interesting to consumers.  According to CNET, two effective ways to trim energy usage this summer involve smart home products. By replacing standard light bulbs with smart, connected bulbs, homeowners and renters can increase control over the times that lighting is on – making small but consistent reductions in usage. Smart bulbs are now in 16% of US homes and smart thermostats are now installed in 14%, according to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix.

The US government’s Energy Star program offers advice and recommendations on smart home products that could help consumers reduce their energy consumption. Additionally, awareness of smart home devices and their potential impact on energy usage appears to be growing in the mainstream, as leading newspapers like the New York Times have been putting a spotlight on how to save money with smart home guides.

“The top drivers for smart home product adoption continue to be home security and peace of mind,” said Stuart Sikes, SVP at Interpret. “Strong demand for smart lighting and thermostats, however, is evidence that energy savings is the second strongest purchase driver behind security. When coupled with comfort and convenience, thermostats and smart bulbs are important additions to a home.”

Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix quantifies the factors compelling consumers to buy smart home products and tracks future purchase intentions.