ENERGY WIRE: Your Bi-Weekly Energy News
- Google owned smart thermostat company, Nest, bought Wi-Fi video surveillance company, Dropcam for $555 million. Hinting at Google’s plans to expand its line of smart products to control the entire home.
- Honeywell and GE have also developed competing thermostat and cooling systems, which use similar tracking technology as Nest to optimize energy usage.
- Apple has developed a software platform, known as Homekit, which allows iPhone &iPad users to use their devices to control the entire ecosystem of their home through remotely connected products.
- Android is in the process of developing a home management software platform of their own, known as Nearby.
- Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android control a combined 94% market share in the smartphone software industry.
- Startup companies such LIFX are developing remote lightening systems that can be programmed to turn off automatically or adjusted remotely via phone.
- There are currently a number of third party applications available for mobile phone and tablet users that allow individuals to track energy usage, and develop strategies to conserve power.
- An EPA study has shown consumers could reduce their energy usage 10-30% using programmable thermostats.
- By 2018, the research firm IHS Technology predicts, people will have installed 45 million smart-home services.
- 58% of online U.S. consumers are familiar with home automation while 61% are interested in learning more about these solutions.
Emotional levers are the driving force behind smart home technology purchases. Marketers, utilities and energy service providers have an opportunity to tap into an increasingly important, and emerging field, with resonance. The way to achieve this is through an honest recognition of the innate underlying desires amongst energy consumers. The majority of these emotional triggers may appear straightforward— security, safety, comfort, peace-of-mind, connectivity and convenience. However, a surprising lever is the desire to be perceived as having a pulse on emerging smart technologies.
The primary barrier, outside of cost, to energy efficiency program participation is a lack of awareness—both in terms of inefficiencies in ones’ home and/or business as well as a lack of awareness regarding programs that would enable an increase in efficiency.
Smart home technology rectifies this by providing consistent feedback and comparisons to energy consumers by monitoring their consumption. No longer can consumers turn a blind eye to energy guzzling appliances, electronics OR their very own practices. Lack of awareness, as a barrier, can be overcome. The feedback provided by smart home technology forces reflection, which lays the groundwork for change in both energy consumption behavior and desire.