Energy services

According to a study conducted by Parks Associates, 20 to 25% of US homeowners with broadband households want to bundle energy services with home services such as HVAC, warranty or home security.

Tom Kerber, Director of IoT Strategy at Parks Associates, commented: "Bundling solar with energy services received the most consumer interest-40% of US homeowners in broadband households are interested in bundling solar power purchasing with their electricity bill.”

"Roughly 25% of homeowners are interested in bundling HVAC maintenance services or home warranties with energy services. As retail energy providers experience narrowing margins in their core business, they are examining alternate strategies to build new revenues."

The study found that:

  • 40% of US broadband households are familiar with smart thermostats, but only 11% own one.
  • About 50% of US households have smart meters, but the number of the utilities and energy providers offering time-varying rate structures is relatively small.
  • Over 50% of US broadband households would purchase a smart device to manage energy consumption during Time of Use peak hours.
  • 38% of US broadband households would purchase a smart thermostat for use in TOU programmes.
  • 45% of US broadband households have interest in ToU plans.
  • 22% of US broadband households would purchase a $250 smart thermostat with a $100 mail-in rebate.

Broadband infrastructure development

In related news, the US Department of Agriculture set aside $200 million for the development of telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas to improve consumer access to the internet.

Commenting on the development, Anne Hazlett, the secretary for Rural Development, said: “Broadband infrastructure is vital to our economy and quality of life in rural America. Yet, today nearly 40 percent of rural residents and businesses lack access to the same quality service available in urban centers.” Read more...

In the UK, First Utility is reported to have its sights set on the broadband sector, to broaden its appeal to customers as competition in the electricity retail sector heats up.

First Utility, considered to be the largest independent challenger to the UK's 'Big Six' energy suppliers, serving 900,000 gas and electricity customers, plans to "undercut the broadband rates offered by the four largest telecoms giants to target the 15 million broadband customers who pay a higher monthly rate for 'out-of-contract' rates," according to Ed Kamm, First Utility’s UK managing director. Read more...

 

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