Arlington, VA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM)

A new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has revealed the interesting finding that almost half of online U.S. households have a programmable and/or smart thermostat currently installed in their homes – making home automation technologies that offer energy efficiency the most popular type of installed home technologies among U.S. consumers.

Technologies providing home security are the second most installed type of technology in homes, with almost a third of online households indicating they own a security product. Nearly one in five online households has a monitored security system – more than twice the penetration rate of those who have unmonitored security systems. And 9 percent own a video surveillance system and six percent have electronic or programmable door locks.

A quarter is also opting to install entertainment-based home technologies, such as home theater pre-wiring/systems (17 percent) and structured wiring systems (8 percent).

“The rise in housing starts in 2013 has contributed to a steady increase in the overall outlook for home technology,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA. “Products that can offer energy efficiency are leading the home automation technology market, with the ability to save money serving as a key motivator for purchases.”

The survey also found that in terms of purchase intent, there is a sizable market opportunity for energy efficient products. Over half of online households expect to purchase energy efficiency home automation technology at some point in the future, while about half expect to purchase security technology and slightly fewer entertainment technology.

Additionally, professional installation remains the preferred method of installation across the board for consumers, regardless of product category in home automation – although respondents tend to have a stronger preference for DIY installation for products like programmable and smart thermostats, and home theater pre-wiring.

All of which should be of great interest to utilities, which are, or at least should be, covering broader energy efficiency issues as part of their smart grid engagement with consumers. The next natural step would be to turn them into revenue generating opportunities.