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What do customers think about smart thermostats?

The latest Connected Home Service customer survey investigated understanding, appeal and willingness to pay for connected heating controls and services.  Our sample consisted of 800 homeowners in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy.

Awareness and price sensitivity for smart thermostats are low

Despite the steady growth of the smart thermostat market in Europe (~20% during the past 2-3 years) there is still a large share of customers (over 50% or the respondents) with no or little awareness of smart thermostats, suggesting that more work is needed in raising awareness to unlock full market potential. Another interesting finding arising from our customer survey was that price sensitivity for smart thermostats was low, with only 5% of the non-buyers converted to “very likely to buy” after a 50% price cut from the original tested price. This shows that the price is not anymore as much of determined factor in the purchase decision for smart thermostats.


Low penetration markets state highest appeal of smart thermostats

Respondents’ likelihood to purchase smart thermostats in Italy and Germany was roughly twice as high compared to the leading smart thermostat markets (i.e. the UK and the Netherlands). Similarly, appeal was stated as almost 3 times as high in Italy and Germany. We believe that the negative correlation between penetration and appeal could be because:

  1. In high penetration markets the typical early-adopters might have already acquired a smart thermostat which lowers the average appeal of non-owners.
  2. Respondents in high penetration countries are likely to have a more realistic perception of smart thermostats and therefore be more cautious with their response


What are the most valued use cases?

The majority of respondents stated that the ability to program and zone their heating as well as getting meaningful insights on their heat usage, were the most valued smart thermostat use cases. While the smart speakers’ penetration in the European market is constantly increasing (Delta-ee estimates that ~15M households will have acquired a smart speaker by the end of 2019), voice control for smart thermostats wasn’t really a key use case for the respondents, with ~50% finding it either “quite appealing” or “quite unappealing”.

To find out more about Delta-ee’s recent research on smart thermostats – and to hear opinions from leading industry experts – listen to episode 5 of Talking New Energy, the podcast from Delta-ee.

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