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Current consumer attitudes to smart home technology

13 September 2018

Current consumer attitudes to smart home technology [ 0.77 mb]

The energy market is changing and with it comes innovations in the home. New products and services may mean we engage with energy in different ways. In this research, we wanted to find out what consumers think of smart home technology, the data they share and what protections they expect or want.

The research found:

  • Most consumers perceive the risks associated with smart home technology as outweighing the benefits, even though they may own some smart technology themselves.
  • Interest in take-up of smart tech is currently is also related to cost and to the value that these products/ services offer, which isn't that obvious to the average consumer. Products that help consumers save money or increase security are more likely to be purchased.
  • Many consumers were unsure about smart technology, and this contributed to their scepticism.
  • Consumers don’t instinctively think about what data they’re sharing, but when they do consider it, they are concerned about the volume of data that is being collected.
  • Consumers are generally happy to share “lifestyle” data, but not data that is linked to their physical safety and security.
  • Many initially struggle to identify who is responsible in situations where something goes wrong, and often end up holding the manufacturer responsible.
  • For redress, they expect a mix of technical fail-safes and interaction with humans.
  • Consumers expect some regulation (warranties, clear T&Cs) to protect them.
  • Some consumers believe individuals bear responsibility as well.
  • Consumers believe education on smart technology is needed to avoid problems occurring in the first place.