Engerati's commentaries on savings studies with the Nest thermostat and Clearview Energy joining the home energy market have prompted some thoughts on the smart home, writes Jonathan Spencer-Jones, consulting editor of Engerati.com, the sister portal to Metering.com, focusing on smart energy.
And some findings from the camera market seem relevant. Their potential new buyers, who are primarily interested in sharing their photos, are looking for easy connectivity to smartphones and/or connectivity to the wider world.
However, with camera manufacturers generally not succeeding, or perhaps unwilling, to provide this, these potential buyers are preferring to remain with their smartphone as camera of choice.
What does this imply for the smart home market (and leaving aside obvious differences between the latter as nascent while the former is mature)?
Buyers will want convenience and connectivity with easy to set up and interoperable devices and services, inevitably from multiple manufacturers – such as PV, storage, lighting, security, etc. – and a single platform to operate them, currently from a smartphone and more likely in the future from a watch or other wearable.
It also points to the USPs of such devices. Cameras have a clear USP over smartphones – their photographic quality, but that is apparently secondary to the connectivity requirements. Energy saving devices have a clear energy saving USP, but how important is that? Notably in one of the Nest studies a third of the participants thought the thermostat was worth the full retail price even if it had provided no energy savings (they, of course, had received them free).
No doubt there is a ‘desirability’ factor but comfort and convenience are also likely to play a role. The important point is that whatever the USPs, with such devices in use the energy savings will follow.
More from Engerati
Initiatives are taking place throughout the Caribbean to enhance energy security with clean energy developments.
Utilities have got a real opportunity to improve the level of communications in their networks and can do so without having to spend a lot of money.
The Optimized Network Utility envisions a holistic approach to smart grids in which all the benefits and opportunities a technology can deliver are considered, rather than an immediate value driver.
Independent energy suppliers are gaining customers but to build on this success they will need to scale their businesses successfully, whilst looking after their loyal customers, says John Peters, Managing Director, Engage Consulting in a guest editorial.
(Pic credit: Advanced Finished Basements)