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Ownership of smart thermostat reaches 13% in the U.S.

Ownership of smart thermostat reaches 13% in the U.S.
Smart thermostat adoption in the U.S. market has reached 13 percent in 2017, according to a study conducted by Parks Associates on broadband households.

The adoption rate wet up, from 11 percent in 2016. In fact, the adoption of thermostats has grown steadily over the years, according to the research institute’s study.

The rise comes “as multiple sales channels offer and promote these devices,” said Tom Kerber, Director of IoT Strategy at Parks Associates.

Utility firms have been actively working with manufacturers to drive adoption of energy-saving solutions, Kerber said. “Smart thermostats have demonstrated significant energy savings, and financial incentives have a dramatic impact on the value judgment made by consumers.” Offering a US$100 rebate on a smart thermostat more than doubles the percentage of homes that will purchase the product, Kerber added.

Thermostat is one of the smart devices that are likely to be picked up by tech-savvy home electronics users. According to Parks Associates, more than half of broadband households intend to buy smart home devices over the next 12 months.

Factors that help to drive smart device adoptions include websites that help with research, online product reviews, salespeople who can help consumers understand product options and professionals who provide smart home consultations on-site.

Price can be a barrier for increased adoption, however. Only 30 percent of U.S. households believes smart thermostats are affordable, Parks Associates’ study shows. In addition, just 18 percent said they would buy a thermostat priced at US$250, a price point for models made by Nest, ecobee and Honeywell.

A separate study conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast that the thermostat market is set to grow rapidly during the next five years, with annual sales in the U.S. and Canada combined to reach 14 million units by 2021. Sales in Europe will also peak near the mid-2020s at about 12 million a year.

Companies to cut prices down
Nest and ecobee are expected to cut prices down, driving sales of connected devices to help consumers track and reduce energy use.

In addition to launching the US$80-priced Nest Thermostat E, the company said it will partner with government, non-profit and utility programs to provide one million thermostats to low-income families by giving installation support.

Lower-income households living in metropolitan areas experience a median energy burden of 7.2 percent, substantially higher than the 2.3 percent of the higher-income counterparts in the same areas.

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