The connected home is changing how householders interact with technology. According to the research company, Gartner, consumer applications are driving the number of connected devices, with 2.9 billion in use this year, forecast to grow to 13 billion by 2020. The increasing complexity and diversity of connected home devices creates significant interoperability and interconnectivity challenges for both vendors and consumers, which itself has not been helped by closed, unilateral solutions offered by early market entrants.
The good news is that most vendors are fully aware of this problem and see the value of open systems that enable devices to interoperate; maximising accessibility and compatibility for consumers. From a GB energy perspective, the roll-out of smart meters (SM) will offer consumers a significant improvement in control over their energy use and a glimpse at the benefits of connected devices. The in-home display (IHD) will offer near real-time information on consumption and price, providing tailored insights on energy use within the home. Insights that are specific to a customer and their home have been found to drive consumer behaviour change, delivering increased energy efficiency and reduced bills.
This in itself is a key tenet of DECC’s Smart Meter Implementation Programme (SMIP) impact assessment of domestic energy saving (£4.3 billion attributed to reduced consumption) and as a result, the IHD remains.