Smart Grid

February 14, 2013

Parks Associates Finds Almost Half of U.S. Broadband Households Want Automated Thermostats

In gearing up for its upcoming Smart Energy Summit, Parks Associates (News - Alert) has released the results of new energy research which found that almost half of U.S. broadband households are very interested in a thermostat that can automatically detect if a house is unoccupied and adjust the temperature to save money. In fact, the research firm found that consumer interest in automated energy management is increasing in general.

Parks Associates also found that 12 percent of U.S. broadband households have access to a website that shows their daily energy consumption patterns, with nearly 90 percent of those using it less than once per week.

"Consumers appreciate the benefits of smart technologies, but they don't want to constantly monitor their home's energy consumption," said John Barrett, director of consumer analytics at Parks Associates, in a statement. "Minimally invasive energy management is preferred, and the top-rated smart thermostat features reduce consumption through automatic adjustments."

Barrett also noted that while consumer energy consciousness is on the rise, it is still lower compared to the peak in interest recorded in 2010.

Consumer interest in automated energy management has led to the development of such technologies as the Nest thermostat, which allows users to control their home's temperature from their smartphone and is capable of learning from user habits to reduce energy consumption. The thermostat has indeed experienced a steady amount of consumer interest, shipping between 40,000 to 50,000 thermostats per month.

Developed by former Apple (News - Alert) executives, Nest recently raised $80 million in funding to continue its growth in the thermostat market.

Meanwhile, a recent report from Pike Research predicts that the number of smart appliances in homes will triple by 2020, while smart appliance technology will play a significant role in the overall home appliance market in the near future.

Edited by Brooke Neuman