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Consumers Warm to Smart Thermostats as Electricity Prices Soar 15%

Rising energy costs are renewing consumers' interest in smart thermostats that have become one of the most popular smart home products. Residential electricity rates increased 15% last year from two years ago, according to the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Lower cost models by new entrants such as Amazon, GE and Wyze are especially popular with recent and likely future buyers. Another factor is the recently completed Matter standard's with the promise of vender interoperability and more seamless whole home automation integration.

Deep Dive with Smart Thermostat Owners

ON World's in-depth analysis of 140 smart thermostat owners from a survey completed in January 2023 found that while they are highly satisfied with their products overall, they want easier installation, more seamless network connections and better home automation integration.

By providing energy savings, immediate comfort and convenience, the popularity of smart thermostats makes them a top smart home gateway product. Over half of the respondents purchased smart thermostats as their first smart home product. The most common other smart home products they own include smart light bulbs, smart plugs and security cameras.

1 in 3 Purchased Within the Last Year

Respondents to this survey are avid smart energy users. Nearly all have more than one smart thermostat. Sixty percent have more than 2 smart thermostats. Nearly all are planning to buy additional smart thermostats in the future and most (88%) are planning 2 or more smart thermostats. Seventy-eight percent (78%) purchased within the last 3 years and nearly a third within last year.

Amazon is the most popular brand with 76% indicating they either have or would consider purchasing an Amazon smart thermostat in the future. Nest was the second most popular (54%) followed by Honeywell (38%), Ecobee (27%), Emerson (23%, Wyze (22%) and GE Lighting/Savant (19%).

Nearly all interact with their smart thermostat at least weekly and thirty percent do at least daily.

Installation Experience

Two thirds used a professional installer and 43% used DIY to install at least one smart thermostat. Thirty-one percent (35%) used a home service provider such as ADT, Comcast or Vivint, 20% another type of profesional installer (e.g. HVAC or CEDIA) and 25% used both. Of those who used DIY, about half used only DIY with the other also using some form of professional installation.

Almost three quarters (72%) experienced challenges with the smart thermostat installation or setup. Wiring (25%) was the most difficult aspect of installing the smart thermostat followed by difficulty in finding the best location or physically attaching the thermostat (21%) and time involved (7%). Other frequently mentioned challenges include networking, whole-home integration/software issues, device costs and removing the backplate.

Nearly Half Participate in Load Control, Energy Efficiency Program

Remote monitoring is the most commonly used feature (68%) followed by an energy efficiency program (48%) and utility load control (46%). Nearly all have at least one remote temperature sensor connected to their smart thermostat with 68% using 2 or more remote temperature sensors.

Forty-four percent (44%) indicate that their smart thermostat is part of a whole home automation system and 41% have thermostats with self-learning.

Average 7 Smart Home Devices

Respondents have an average of 7.2 smart home devices with 20% having more than 10. In addition to smart thermostats, respondents were most likely to have a smart speaker (71%), security camera/video doorbell (50%), safety/security sensor (50%), smart appliance (45%) or smart light bulb (44%). Respondents were most likely to integrate their smart thermostats with smart light switches (51%), smart plugs and smart light bulbs (both 47%) as well as security cameras, video doorbells and smart speakers.

54% Want Better Home Automation Integration

Two in five indicate they are "Very satisfied" with their smart thermostat and about half (46%) are "Satisfied" while only 11% are "Somewhat satisfied" and none indicate they are not satisfied with their smart thermostat. Whole home automation and data reliability are rated the most important features with 56% indicating each of these are "Important" or "Very Important" followed by usefulness (52%), seamless installation (33%) and vendor interoperability (30%).

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About ON World:
ON World provides market research and business intelligence on Internet of Things (IoT).  Since 2003, our research reports, datasets and customized research services have been used by Fortune 500 companies, investors and developers worldwide to advance IoT solutions in hundreds of industries.

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