Homeowner awareness of smart thermostats continues to rise, largely because of the increase in TV advertising from companies offering them over the past year.
More than 150,000 connected thermostats have already been installed by some of the national operators, and it is not surprising that many local independent installers are eager for the training they need to take advantage of this growing opportunity.
Last year was a busy one for the heating industry, with the pace of development being incomparable to anything before it. This year looks set to be another of technological change for our sector, and now is the time for installers to decide to come on the journey or risk being left behind.
Smart controls play a big part in this technological revolution, and represent the beginning of many people’s first step into the world of a connected home.
Homeowners are looking for advice and knowledge, and often don’t know where to turn. This is where the role of the installer is so critical, as they can offer perspective on the huge choice of products in the market and advise the customer – who is so keen to save energy and money in their home – which options would best suit their situation.
There are more and more smart controls coming onto the market from different providers and the choice can be overwhelming and confusing. The Smart Thermostat Club has created a free basic guide, allowing installers to compare the most popular products on the market.
This will ensure that you can advise your customers and support them with the installation – giving you additional work and providing them with cost savings in their home.
Many installers are still cynical about smart controls, and question whether installing the technology will really benefit them or their customers.
Smartinstallers.co.uk ran a four-month trial with installers to establish customer interest and also the effect on the installer’s businesses.
It found that in 60% of cases, customers who bought a new boiler also wanted a smart thermostat installed. It also revealed that installers felt they were turning more boiler installation estimates into jobs by offering another product to accompany the boiler. All in all, the trial showed that there was additional money to be made by informing customers about the benefits of smart controls.
The evidence is clear. There is more TV advertising and therefore more customer demand, more products coming onto the market and – most importantly – the chance to earn more money doing what you already do.
We would strongly suggest that installers don’t get left in the cold and embrace the future in heating. It is a simple step for the installer, but a giant leap for your customers.
Peter Northwood is connected homes director at HomeServe Alliance