The smart thermostat market is expected to more than double within the next five years. In 2018, the global smart thermostat market was valued at $689.8 million (USD) and could grow to more than $2.3 billion by 2024, reports the Mordor Intelligence research company.
A Cowen & Co report also indicates that about 60 million Americans used virtual person assistants and voice-controlled speakers during 2017 – Amazon Echo was used by 24 per cent and Google Home by 31 per cent for home control settings.
The Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) reports that despite a steep growth, experts say there might be some levelling-out of the market after a frenetic period between 2012 and 2017.
Whatever the growth rate, market leaders argue that smart thermostats won’t become a disappearing fad. “The main factors driving demand are convenience, energy conservation, energy tracking, and potential savings,” reports HRAI. Smart thermostat manufacturer Ecobee suggests smart thermostats can save an average of 23 per cent off energy bills, and Nest Systems claim their unit can potentially save 10 to 12 per cent on heating and 15 per cent on cooling.
“While educated customers are seen as a threat by some installers, others note that people buying smart thermostats and knowing more about their capability are more likely to upgrade to premium add-ons that the HVAC contractor is usually best positioned to supply and install,” explains HRAI.
Some cautions for contractors include studying up in a fast-changing sector to ensure they are recommending systems that offer good value, choosing manufacturers that are working on industry standards and compatibility, and paying attention to user experience.
From a contractor’s perspective, smart home systems represent a real opportunity – not just for expanding revenue or margins, but also for “suggestion selling” during slow months, HRAI reports.