Energy to personal space: what is the main concern in our homes?

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Since 2020, at Schneider Electric we have been monitoring how our attitudes towards our homes have shifted, and how global events can often skew our priorities.

In our very first report, understandably the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world had a significant impact on what we wanted from our living spaces.

In 2020, 37% of respondents considered changing their homes since the onset of the pandemic. This, for example, equates to almost 3.5million people in London, or a whopping 4million people in Paris, all looking to move home! Whilst many people were looking for a larger home that would provide more living space for different family members, 1 in 5 people were looking to downsize.

When it came down to why they were looking to move, their motivations were primarily linked to COVID-related reasons, such as

  • Proximity to family – 30%
  • Access to high-speed/wireless internet – 28%
  • Private outdoor space – 26%
  • Personal space for each family member – 25%
  • Energy efficiency – 24%
  • Secure options to receive deliveries – 24%

However, with the pandemic now in the rear-view mirror, it’s to be expected that priorities in our homes will have shifted with the times too. So, what is the biggest concern for homeowners today in 2023?

According to data from our latest global survey (carried out in August 2023), energy-related issues now come out on top, up 10 percentage points on 2021. Energy efficiency at home was the single largest concern for homeowners, which comes as no surprise given the surging energy prices that we’ve seen over the past 18 months.

In an attempt to keep energy bills down, more homeowners than ever have been looking at how they can reduce consumption, whether that’s upgrading old, inefficient appliances, or cutting down the time devices are running for. The use of home energy management solutions, such as Wiser, can help homeowners with this; enabling them to identify where they are over-using energy, or shifting electrical loads to run at time of the day when tariffs are cheapest.

But it doesn’t stop there. People are also more conscious about where our energy is coming from and ensuring we have a reliable, secure supply.

In the 2023 survey, we introduced more energy-related issues into the list of concerns for homeowners. As global warming continues to impact our ecosystem and more countries experience adverse weather conditions that often can impact the energy supplies to our homes, it is no surprise that energy security – one of the new additions – immediately ranked 2nd. As such, more homeowners are looking at how they can secure their energy supply, through the generation and storage of energy outside of the grid using solar panels and battery storage.

Likewise, energy independence was another new addition to the list of concerns in the 2023 survey, which also debuted highly. This is likely to have been fuelled by the ongoing war in Ukraine, which kickstarted a rise in energy prices and threats to cut off gas pipelines coming out of Russia, which predominantly supply European countries.

On the flip side, COVID-related concerns have all generally decreased in importance.

High-speed internet ranked 4th, private outdoor space ranked 9th, dedicated working space ranked 12th, and personal space for each family member ranks 14th – all much lower than their initial 2020 and 2021 rankings.

20202023
1st Proximity to family1st Energy efficiency (+10pts)
1st High internet speed2nd Energy security (NEW)
2nd Private outdoor space3rd Energy independence (NEW)
3rd Personal space for each family member4th High internet speed (-3pts)
4th Energy efficiency7th Proximity to family
5th Secure options to receive deliveries9th Private outdoor space (-2pts)
6th Dedicated working space at home12th Dedicated working space (-2pts)
13th Secure options to receive deliveries (-4pts)
14th Personal space for each family member (-1pt)

What’s also interesting to see, is the increase of other factors that play into living a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, as more people ditch their cars, there was an increase in people concerned about whether their home is within a walkable distance to public spaces (+3pts) and has good access to public transportation (+9pts).

With energy use and sustainability so closely linked, it is clear that energy-related concerns are set to be at the forefront of homeowners’ minds over the next few years. As we continue to try and manage higher energy prices by investing in home energy management systems for our homes, we may also see concerns about the security of these smart devices begin to emerge.

To learn more about the results of our 2023 global consumer survey, read the report here.

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