Homeowners are turning to smart home technology during energy crisis – Report

UK homeowners are turning to smart home technology in a bid to reduce their energy bills, according to the findings of a new report from Drayton and Schneider Electric.

The study of 2,000 British homeowners found that almost 74% have adapted their behaviour over the last 12 months to use less energy during the energy crisis, with 26% of people measuring or tracking how and where they use energy, and 14% investing in a smart thermostat to control their heating, both with the aim of reducing energy bills.

When it comes to the most popular smart technology devices, smart thermostats and smart energy monitors rank highly in the UK (2nd and 3rd respectively), beaten only by voice assistants.

In addition, UK homeowners made a series of more traditional changes to their lifestyle and behaviours to decrease their energy consumption, with 52% of respondents decreasing the temperature of their heating at home and 41% limiting their usage of hot water.

The findings form part of Schneider Electric’s global study of more than 9,000 homeowners, tracking their attitudes and behaviour towards energy efficiency and sustainability. The energy crisis dominated the results of the survey, particularly when looking at UK homeowners’ top concerns, with energy efficiency ranking 1st (+14pts year-on-year). So concerned are British homeowners about reducing their energy use that they are willing to invest an average of around £1,250 in energy efficiency measures in the next 12 months, the study found.

The research also showed that smart technology users were twice as optimistic about achieving Net Zero ambitions, compared to those who are yet to make the investment. Over half (51%) of the UK population believe it is important for homes to become more sustainable but general levels of optimism around achieving this have fallen, compared to the 2021 survey results.

Jeremy Palmer, General Director at Drayton, commented: “A real positive of this study was just how many UK homeowners (71%) believe it is important to reduce their carbon footprint. However, it is concerning to see the impact of the energy crisis and it is shocking to hear that 43% of UK homeowners would sacrifice their own comfort in an attempt to reduce energy use and keep bills down.

“It is clear that more needs to be done to educate homeowners about the cost-effective ways they can improve their energy consumption without having to make these sacrifices. For instance, by upgrading their heating system with the introduction of smart thermostats and multi-zoning, homeowners can still enjoy a warm home, without having to over-spend by heating empty rooms. Whilst 34% of respondents consider smart technology an easy way to reduce energy use, there continues to be an opportunity here for installers to educate and help customers implement energy-saving measures that will have an immediate and tangible impact on their bills, without compromising comfort.

“This research also shows that progress still needs to be made in relation to homes of the future. Achieving Net Zero is crucial in tackling the global climate crisis, so it is important that the government and manufacturers lead the way in developing the right solutions that will make sustainable homes possible. As part of Schneider Electric, this ethos is at the core of everything that we do at Drayton, and we will continue to provide our customers with the advice, support and product range to make a greener future possible.”

To read the full report, visit https://www.se.com/ww/en/insights/electricity-4-0/electrification/the-rise-of-home-energy-efficiency.jsp. Or, for more information on Drayton’s range of heating controls, including Wiser, visit www.draytoncontrols.co.uk.