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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 100 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. One third of the respondents purchased smart thermostats as their first smart home product. Nearly half also own other smart home products such as smart light bulbs, smart plubs, security cameras.

1 in 3 Purchased Within the Last Year

Respondents to this survey are avid smart energy users. Seventy-eight percent (78%) have more than 1 smart thermostat. One in three have over 2 smart thermostats. Nearly all (97%) planning to buy additional smart thermostats in the future and most of these (80%) are planning 2 or more smart thermostats.Eighty-four percent (84%) purchased within the last 3 years and nearly a third within last year.

Amazon is the most popular brand with 77% indicating they either have or would consider purchasing an Amazon smart thermostat in the future. Nest was the second most popular (51%) followed by Honeywell (31%), Wyze (30%) then Ecobee (24%), Emerson (21%) and GE Lighting/Savant (17%).

Over half interact with their smart thermostat at least weekly and a quarter do at least daily.

Installation Experience

Over three quarters used a professional installer and 43% used DIY to install their smart thermostats. Thirty-one percent (31%) used a home service provider such as ADT, Comcast or Vivint, 22% another type of profesional installer (e.g. HVAC or CEDIA) and 24% used both.

Of those who used DIY, about half (23%) used only DIY with the other also using some form of professional installation. Nearly all (97%) of the respondents who at least attempted DIY encountered difficulties during the smart thermostat installation.

Wiring (29%) was the most difficult aspect of installing the smart thermostat followed by difficulty in finding the best location (22%), network connections (20%), whole-home integration/software (12%), costs (10%), and removing the backplate (5%).

2 in 5 Participate in Load Control Program, Use Self-Learning

Remote monitoring is the most commonly used feature (62%) followed by an energy efficiency program (45%), utility load control (40%). Nearly all have at least one remote temperature sensor connected to their smart thermostat with over half using 2 or more remote temperature sensors.

Self-learning is used/preferred by 40% and home automation integration 35%.

Average 5 Smart Home Devices

Respondents have an average of 5 smart home devices with 1 in 3 having more than 5. In addition to smart thermostats, respondents were most likely to have a smart speaker (64%), safety/security sensor (49%), security camera/video doorbell (49%), smart appliance (39%) or smart light bulb (38%). Respondents were most likely to integrate their smart thermostats with smart lighting (44%), smart plugs (40%), security cameras (37%) and smart speakers (35%).

54% Want Better Home Automation Integration

Two in five indicate they are "Very satisfied" with their smart thermostat and about half (46%) "Satisfied" while only 12% are "Somewhat satisfied" with none indicating they are not satisfied with their smart thermostat. Data reliability is rated the most important feature with 64% indicating this is "Important" or "Very Important" followed by usefulness (56%) and home automation integration (54%)

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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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