Research from Intamac shows consumers are prepared to pay for remote home energy monitoring - as long as it’s tied in with utility bills
Northampton, UK, January 4, 2010 - Nearly two thirds of consumers are prepared to pay for a home monitoring service letting them view excess energy consumption or security settings around the house when not at home. This is according to research carried out by UK-based connected home provider Intamac. Interestingly, over half claimed they’d prefer the fee to be added to their monthly utility bill.
The research carried out across consumers in the UK and North America to find out their attitudes towards remote home monitoring and control showed that there’s a keen interest in better managing energy consumption. Yet, while consumers in both regions are eager to have better remote control over their homes, paying for a separate service is another matter.
“There’s often a big discrepancy between what consumers ideally want and what they’re prepared to pay for,” said Kevin Meagher, CEO of Intamac. “Consumers across the UK and US are aware of the benefits of monitoring and controlling your home remotely but don’t want the hassle of paying a separate bill for the service.”
For utility companies to stay competitive, customer loyalty and retention is key. This means giving the consumer what they want and enhancing their experience. In this case it seems combining bills is the way forward.
“As technology evolves and life becomes more hectic people are becoming less tolerant of numerous bills with individual charges and varying payment deadlines,” explained Meagher. “Utility providers need to offer a bill that combines all alerts and monitoring fees so all the consumer has to worry about is a one-off monthly bill.”
According to research from the Energy Saving Trust, consumers find energy bills the hardest to understand, with 82% of people not even knowing what energy tariff they’re on. Added to that the current recession with people wanting to conserve energy and money it’s clear that a remote home monitoring and control system appeals. The trick is to make the payment for it appealing too.
“Consumers want the best of both worlds - to protect their home and pinpoint cost savings, but without any additional hassle,” concluded Meagher. “Utility companies need to meet users’ growing demands but also recognize the opportunities offered to them if they can extend smart metering into the home - higher retention levels, increased service offerings and ultimately, higher profit margins. It’s a win-win situation all round.”