Building Confidence in the Connected Home

There has never been a more exciting time for the connected home. With ever advancing technologies and solutions coming to market, and increasing consumer demand for these, the outlook is bright.

As techUK’s most recent State of the Connected Home 2017 shows, appeal and knowledge has grown significantly in the past year alone.

Great progress has been made, but the report also unearths challenges which industry needs to address. In particular, how to give everyone the confidence and opportunity to engage with these new technologies.

Smart meters are proving to be one of the ways this is being addressed. They are providing a stepping-stone for people to engage with more connected products and services.

Earlier this year we published Smarter Living; what consumers want from smart energy products and services, where we spoke to over 3,000 people about their attitudes to technology and new services.

Most of the people we spoke to told us they were excited about technology and felt confident using it. Although some, particularly those who were older and no longer in work, tended to say they were less excited about technology and wanted more reassurance.

Yet, this small group also told us they were open to taking up new products and services, particularly if they already had a smart meter installed.

We found that people who already had smart meters found every new product or service we asked them about more appealing.

For example, half of people said they found the idea of alerts if the energy patterns of an elderly relative changed appealing, and this rose to 64% of smart meter users. Similarly, just under 60 per cent of people said they would like appliances which could automatically turn on when energy is cheapest, rising to 70% of smart meter users.

The adoption curve of smart meters has tended not to follow the usual trend of technology adoption – where young tech savvy people taking up new tech first.

The smart meter users we spoke to in this research skewed towards older people, with over half of people being over the age of 55 – an audience who tended to say they were less confident with technology.

This new technology is being offered to every home in Britain at no extra cost, providing a new platform for innovation in the energy market and in connected home technologies.

The rollout of smart meters creates a vital technology platform. And is also an important tool getting people ready to take up products and services in the future, including those who don’t yet share our enthusiasm for technology today.

Post written by Rob Smith, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Smart Energy GB

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This post is part of a recently launched initiative looking at trends in the Connected Home market. Click here to find out more.

 

For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact aimee.betts-charalambous@techuk.org.

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