The UK’s appetite for connected homes has continued to grow as new research has found that households will spend £10.8 billion on smart devices next year.
According to a new Disrupting Utilities report by PwC, which surveyed over 2,000 consumers, ownership of smart devices has more than doubled in the last two years.
Since the firm’s first connected home survey in 2016, buying intentions are gradually improving with around 30 per cent of people (14 per cent in 2016) planning to purchase a smart device for the home in the next two years.
The biggest adopters are likely to be aspirational homeowners in the 18-35 years age range: 59 per cent have invested in smart entertainment and 40 per cent in wearables such as an Apple watch or Fitbit.
And with the advent of Google, Apple and Amazon smart home assistants – central systems that can connect and control other smart devices – and more affordable technology, it appears the penetration rate of devices could double by 2020.
“The indifference we encountered in 2016 to the ‘Internet of Things’ energy revolution in the home has changed for many households,” said Ronan O’Regan, PwC’s digital utilities leader.
“Our latest analysis shows there is an increasing willingness to purchase connected homes devices and we anticipate this growth trend will continue to accelerate with the expectation that in 2019, £10.8bn will be spent on smart devices across the UK.
“While smart home assistants are relatively new to the market, we believe they could potentially be the ‘glue’ towards wider adoption. You could say they are having an ‘iPhone effect’ in the market.”
He added: “Crucially for energy suppliers, smart home assistants are increasingly acting as a springboard to other smart purchases from heating and lighting to smart appliances.”
The survey reveals that, with the exception of smart meters, 40 per cent of connected home device owners expect to upgrade their devices within two years.
For private renters, this jumps by 50 per cent to three in five people, especially in relation to home appliances, lighting, plugs and assistants which can easily be taken with them should they move home.