Arlington, Virginia 4/15/2009
Homeowners are factoring energy efficiency into purchase decisions of consumer electronics in an effort to reduce home energy costs, according to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The study, Home Technologies and Energy Efficiency: A Look At Behaviors, Issues and Solutions, finds increasing consumer interest in the energy efficiency benefits of consumer electronics products, including do-it-yourself solutions and professionally installed home technologies. Consumers are more likely to turn to smart energy meters than home energy audits to reduce energy consumption. In the past two years, about one in 10 households conducted a home energy audit. Of those who had undergone an audit, 61 percent replaced appliances or CE devices with more energy efficient models. Fifty-six percent of consumers show interest in "smart energy meters" that provide information on optimum times to run appliances for utility bill savings.
CEA finds that 57 percent of consumers believe an equal mix of behavioral changes and the use of new technology will help them conserve household energy. On average, consumers said they would need to see a 31 percent increase in their monthly home energy costs before they would seek out technology options to improve energy efficiency within the home.
"The possibility of another rise in home energy costs provides CE manufacturers and electronic system contractors the opportunity to educate homeowners on technology and systems that maximize home energy efficiency," stated Chris Ely, CEA senior research analyst. "Consumers are first turning to home improvement stores and utility companies for solutions. CE manufacturers of energy efficient products and systems should look for ways to increase their presence and work with these outlets to improve consumer awareness."
Currently, there is low consumer awareness for terms used by the custom installation industry to describe home energy efficient technology. While consumers are highly aware of the EPA's ENERGY STAR® designation (84 percent), only 50 percent are aware of the term "smart home" and 38 percent are aware of "home automation". When given a sample of five major companies that sell smart home products or technologies, a little over a third of respondents are aware of those companies.
Home Technologies and Energy Efficiency: A Look At Behaviors, Issues and Solutions (April 2009) was fielded in December 2008. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $699 at myCEA.CE.org. Chris Ely will discuss the study in further detail in an exclusive webcast at 2PM (ET) on Thursday, April 16. To register for the webcast or for more information, please email Steve Kidera at skidera@CE.org .