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Consumer research highlights shifting consumer perspectives on managing their energy consumption

Parks Associates’ home energy management research reveals more consumers who churn from a utility program report low awareness or availability, rather than a lack of interest. Only 11% of past DR program users churned because they were uncomfortable during DR events, compared to 25% in Q4 2021. Leading churn factors were consumers reporting the DR program was no longer available (29%) or that the incentive was too low (25%). The number of churners who were unaware they had enrolled jumped from 6% in Q4 2021 to 14% in Q4 2023, further highlighting the need for better communication between consumers and their utilities.

Home Energy Management: Generation, Consumption, Demand Response examines trends and consumer interest in energy monitoring solutions, home solar, battery storage, and DR programs. The research tracks the expansion of smart home and smart energy devices into the mainstream and measures the impact on the energy market and utility business strategies.

“It is concerning to see even a small percentage of consumers report they had no awareness of being enrolled in a program AND that many utilities don’t offer DR programs whereas they had before,” said Jennifer Kent, VP, Research, Parks Associates. “Utilities, energy providers, and smart thermostat OEMs must earn and keep the trust of customers, and this starts with transparent messaging and clear information.”

DR program names, benefits, and branding often change, which causes confusion among consumers. Currently 80% of smart thermostat owners do not participating in a DR program, and utilities and energy providers need to deliver a mix of education, tailored incentives, and user controls to engage these households and give them confidence about program administration.

“The most immediate opportunity lies in helping consumers make small, accessible changes that can help them save on their energy costs,” Kent said. “Partnerships between smart home and energy players will increase the value of energy management solutions beyond cost savings, generating more interest in purchasing and more meaningful use of connected products for energy use cases.”

Parks Associates will address shifts in the energy and smart home markets at its upcoming CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference, hosted May 7-9 at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park Hotel in Plano, TX. The conference features a keynote from Jim Nye, Chief Product Officer, Vivint, on Wednesday, May 8, at 11:30 AM.

CONNECTIONS™ sponsors include Cox Communities; Nice; Cardinal Peak, an FPT Software Company; Ivani; Kaadas Smart Locks; Kwikset; Rapid Response Monitoring; SkyBell; Ubiety Technologies; Alarm.com; Shelly; SmartThings; Becklar; Schlage; Calix; Johnson Controls; bluesalve partners; Midea America; Cognitive Systems; RSPNDR; Savant; Trident IoT; Xailient; Affiliated Monitoring; Moen; Origin; VectorSolv; and the Z-Wave Alliance.

To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific data, please contact Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein at mindi.sue@parksassociates.com or 972-490-1113.

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video. https://www.parksassociates.com

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