Friday, November 11, 2011

New technology allows homeowners to monitor their houses from afar and reduce utility bills

Smart-home systems will become the newest bundled service that cable and Internet providers use to help cement customer loyalty, said Stuart Sikes, president of Dallas-based market research firm Parks Associates.

“A FiOS loyalist who gets four services from Verizon would consider this an attractive add-on,” Sikes said. “And once you have five services, they’d really have to do something to force you to change (providers).”

A Parks Associates survey indicated that many consumers were interested in buying smart-home products if it could help them save 10 to 20 percent on utility costs.

For now, smart-home systems remain a niche market favored by early technology adopters. People with smartphones are significantly more interested in energy-monitoring systems, according to Parks Associate research.

Parks Associates estimates the percentage of U.S. households with an energy management network will rise from the current 2 percent to 13 percent by 2013.

Growth will be driven by two groups: the “home safeguarders” who are primarily interested in security and utility savings, and the “life maximizers” who want more digital control over their dwellings.

“These are the people who are willing to pay additional money,” said Sikes, the Parks Associates president. “It’s not so much a savings issue as they want more control over their home and their lifestyle. Having slick iPhone apps will certainly be a way to make people more interested.”

From the article, "New technology allows homeowners to monitor their houses from afar and reduce utility bills" by Steve Adams

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