Imagine being an electrician in the early 20th century and having a customer ask for the very latest in modern conveniences.
Back then your options were extremely limited. Maybe you’d install some of the early electrical household appliances. Maybe a dimmer here and there.
But automation? Or advanced lighting options? That would have required monumental effort. Imagine the wiring required to connect each and every function to an individual button! Lots of work, for little payoff.
Luckily, smart home technology has come a long way. Today, you can offer connectivity, monitoring, and remote control of individual devices. And, as the technology has evolved so have customer expectations. ‘Smart’ isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s becoming an expectation…and a business opportunity.
What’s driving the trend? Generational shifts and maturing technology, sure, but there’s more to it. Here are just a couple of reasons:
The pandemic has changed the way we look at our homes
Long months stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many to rethink their living situations. Because when there’s no escaping home, then home improvement becomes a top-of-mind issue.
Indeed, quality of life quickly became more important than location, with 33%* of customers hoping to move to a bigger space. All in all, over a third of consumers have considered changing their housing situation since the beginning of the pandemic.
There is a great disparity, however, between aspirations and reality. For example, while some 55%** of consumers feel it’s important for their home to become net-zero over its lifetime, around 69%** think it’s unlikely to happen.
Achieving net-zero is indeed a leap for most homes, but every step forward in energy efficiency makes a difference. And here is a clear opportunity for electricians to show value by offering new energy monitoring and management technology to their customers.
Wiser allows homeowners to monitor the entire power system, and see real-time consumption information and equipment status directly on the smartphone, and take action if needed. For example, appliances connected to a Wiser Smart Plug can be turned on or off from anywhere.
Homeowners are increasingly familiar with the technology and expect it
Nowadays, as many as 90%* of consumers are familiar with smart home technology, and about half (53%)* own at least one smart home device. The most popular of these (25%)* are voice assistants like Amazon Alexa™ or Google Home™, which offer limited functionality on their own.
What’s even more important, as many as 41%* of consumers expect new builds to come equipped with smart home products, and 25%* are willing to pay a premium for them. So it seems smart home tech has simply become the new norm.
And homeowners are also increasingly looking for comprehensive smart home solutions that integrate lighting, heating, and shutter control with entertainment and home security functionalities. This is where Wiser connected home solutions fit in perfectly. Wiser lets electricians provide an intuitive and modular system without a whole lot of fuss.
The system works with a wide variety of Schneider Electric products, including light and shutter switches, and thermostats. With easy customization, adjusting the home to residents’ current needs and adding more features later is easy.
Customers want what’s best for the planet… and their budgets
Volatile energy prices and inflation have everyone on edge these days, not to mention growing concern over climate reports. All of this has homeowners looking for ways to cut energy bills and reduce carbon footprints – ideally at the same time. About 85%** of consumers feel energy efficiency is important to consider when buying or renovating a home, while 60%* list reducing energy consumption as a benefit of smart home technology.
Wiser allows homeowners to monitor their power systems and see, in real-time, how much energy is being used at the device, circuit, or home level, which makes it much easier to optimize overall consumption. It also lets homeowners set high-consuming appliances, such as boilers and e-bike chargers, to run during lower-tariff periods.
We’re all creatures of comfort
Comfort and convenience are fundamental to the idea of a smart home and it’s important for consumers. For example, around 37%* of respondents say that smart home technology makes their lives easier, with another 37%* claiming it makes their homes more comfortable.
Most interestingly, only 28%* are willing to sacrifice comfort for energy efficiency.
With Wiser, homeowners don’t have to choose one over the other. Along with energy management features, Wiser provides the ability to tailor comfort at home and manage it.
Perhaps the most convenient functionality is automated Moments: personalized settings for different events. Family dinners, movie nights, time alone, you name it. No matter the occasion, the perfect ambiance can be set with a click or one-word command.
Automations, or preset actions, on the other hand, deliver greater peace of mind. Just to give a couple examples, the heating in an individual room can be set to stop if a window opens. Or lights can be set to switch off if no motion is sensed in during the predefined time.
And for on-the-go convenience, the Wiser smart home system can be operated locally or remotely, including via voice control with Google Home or Amazon Alexa, via an app, or by touch panel.
Our homes are our fortresses
For many homeowners, privacy and security are big concerns. Some 64%** see advanced security as an important aspect when renovating, while 44%* are worried about personal data being exposed to cyberattacks.
What’s the best way to pre-empt these objections? First of all, by offering solutions that meet region-specific data protection laws (e.g. GDPR) and industry-proven standards (e.g. IEC), Wiser takes care of your data protection and privacy and goes beyond the current regulations so your customers can have peace of mind.
So data security is ticked, but there are also ways to improve on-site security.
Homeowners going on holiday? Wiser automatically manages lighting and shutters to simulate presence at home. Smoke, water leakage, or motion detected while nobody’s home? Wiser sends an instant alert to the homeowners so they can act accordingly.
Be at the forefront of smart home technology
All of these trends are feeding demand. And as demand for smart home automation grows, so does the need for professional installation and the potential for electrical business growth.
Tapping this potential doesn’t need to be complicated – that’s why Schneider has launched the Wiser Approved Installer program. So that when your customers ask for ways to make their homes smarter and more sustainable, you’ve got all the knowledge and tools you need to answer their needs.
Schneider Electric is equipping its electrician partners with tailored benefits and services to grow business, click here to know more.
* Edelman Intelligence & SE “Smart Home Thought Leadership” report, 2020
** Lewis & SE “Smart Devices and Sustainability” report, 2021