How technology is improving our lifestyle
Smart Heating Controls
There is a growing awareness of the benefits of smart heating control such as smart & learning thermostats, smart thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and advanced home systems. With the Covid-19 pandemic and trend towards homeworking, zoned systems are in higher demand.
Smart heating controls with 6% share have become increasingly popular in UK homes since their introduction in 2013. There are a growing number of suppliers and high levels of advertising has boosted product awareness. The UK smart heating controls sector has evolved and is expected to show high levels of growth to 2025 and beyond.
In terms of market penetration of smart heating systems, it is estimated that around 11% of UK homes with central heating have smart heating controls installed. These include smart & learning thermostats, smart TRVs and advanced zoned systems.
The major suppliers of smart heating systems include British Gas (with Hive), Google (with Nest), Tado and Honeywell.
The following chart illustrates our estimates for the household penetration of smart home heating controls in 2017 and 2020, with a forecast for 2025:
The Future Homes Standard, to be introduced by 2025, will require new build homes to be future proofed with low carbon heating and world leading levels of energy efficiency. It is anticipated that homes built to this standard should have 75% to 80% fewer CO2 emissions than those built to current building regulations.
The changes to Part L 2020 standards seek to prepare new dwellings to be ready for low carbon heating systems, putting forward a preferred “fabric plus technology” option which seeks a 31% reduction in CO2 emission compared to the current standard.
The Green Growth strategy, introduced by the Government in 2019, has the objective to at least halve the energy use of all new buildings by 2030. Part of this is to give householders more control over how they use energy in their home through smart heating technologies.
A further energy efficiency scheme is the ECO3 scheme which runs until 31 March 2022 and is focused on targeting lower income and more vulnerable households. Each year up to 35,000 homes with broken heating systems will have them replaced. Suppliers must allocate 10% of their budget to installing ‘innovative’ products, such as smart heating controls, to help these homeowners manage their energy use.
Smart thermostat apps installed on iOS and Android devices enable the remote control of central heating systems, smart thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), and hot water thermostats. The user can control the central heating temperature in individual rooms and schedule and also set the hot water tank schedule (depending on boiler installation) and boost it when required.
Apps can also illustrate how much energy is being used each day using energy reporting screens, enabling the user to calculate when/where savings can be made. The homeowner can assess heating usage and time frames in order to programme and structure a personalised schedule.
The ease of use and improved energy management offered by apps on these mobile devices has positively influenced demand for smart home heating technologies.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and trend towards homeworking, the ability to control home heating systems via smartphone and zone areas of the home via smart thermostats is likely to become increasingly important.
Access Control Market
The access control product market is forecast to reach £522m in 2025, 12% up on the 2019 figure. Following the sharp downturn in 2020 created by the reduction in construction and economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the market is expected to return to annual growth of 5-6% from 2022 onwards as economic recovery gathers pace. Growth will also be sustained by increased adoption of technologically advanced products.
The following chart illustrates the development of the market since 2016, with forecasts to 2025:
The residential access control market is also undergoing considerable change with smart locks using Bluetooth or built-in Wi-Fi circuitry becoming an established part of Smart Home technology that are likely to be an increasingly common feature of the housebuilding market in the near future. The latest smart locks offer features such as voice activation, geofencing (triggering an alert when a specific boundary is crossed), and auto-locking.
Home automation for most may simply help to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, cost savings and security. Home automation systems for others, such as the elderly, infirm and disabled may help provide increased quality of life in their control and use of home services which otherwise might be limited in home care or institutional care.
The popularity of home automation has been increasing significantly and the market is growing rapidly as more affordable technology and integration of systems allow. Smartphone connectivity, particularly, with its ease of operation along with tablet and PC integration have been driving forces in the simplification and demand for systems. Additionally, the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) where home devices are connected via the Internet has helped popularise home automation.
Smart homes have now come of age. With home automation systems now available at all price points in the market and recognition of the benefits these can bring, the question becomes not whether systems will be adopted, but which systems will become dominant at each level of the market
Home Security Improvements
A key aspect for homeowners in recent years has been the efforts of insurance companies increasingly insisting on improvements to door and window locks and the installation of intruder alarms. Professionally installed and certified systems usually permit up to a 5% discount on premiums.
The advantages of security as part of a home automation system include the following:
- Management of lighting and other devices to provide the impression that the house is occupied when the homeowner/tenant is away.
- Motion detectors to activate lights and deter burglars.
- Water leakage and smoke detectors.
- Home security cameras for remote surveillance of home and pets and to allow the consumer to view callers who visit the front door.
- Smart locks can allow access for recognised consumers and can also allow limited access for others.
Whilst insurers are not offering much in the way of incentives to homeowners to install smart home security and access devices other than certified devices, installation of such systems does provide other benefits to the homeowner. Where smart devices have helped prevent the need for a claim it may be seen that this in itself has enabled the homeowner to avoid higher insurance premiums.
Insight taken from the following reports:
Want more Free insight? Take a look at our home working report and learn how Covid-19 had affected our workspaces: