As Intel Australia tests thousands of their new energy monitoring devices in Australian homes in partnership with Energy Australia, new research reveals that between 15 and 20% of consumers are “very willing” to pay between $5-10 per month to save on energy bills.
The news comes as consumers in Australia face the real prospect of energy bills rising by up to 61% during the next 3 years.
The new Intel devices which are powered by an Atom processor can be installed by a custom installer or an energy Company.
A recent study by Parks Associates reveals that consumers are willing to pay a monthly subscription fee as long as the devices deliver “real savings”.
That should be good news for the likes of Intel Panasonic Sanyo and Sharp who see energy management as a growth market in Australia.
Intel executives who have spent the last two years developing their energy management system believe that resource management system will deliver significant benefits for consumers in Australia especially when linked with a solar system. They claim that between 5 to 15% in electricity costs can be saved by simply providing immediate feedback on a home’s energy use – and more if tied to a home control system that can turn off or power down devices automatically.
The Parks report, Residential Energy Management: Consumer Classifications and Mindset finds smartphone owners and those with do-it-yourself security cameras are among those consumers much more likely to sign up for energy management services or purchase energy-saving products.
Nearly 30% of consumers subscribing to professionally monitored security services indicated that they are very willing to pay for these solutions.
“With household electricity bills set to rise sharply consumer interest in energy savings is high, and utilities, control system manufacturers, and service providers are looking to leverage that demand,” says Bill Ablondi, director, home systems research, Parks Associates. “Current solutions with the best chance for success cross platforms and combine multiple functions”
He said that several automation Companies including the likes of Control 4 and ADT are already including an iPhone app with its home surveillance systems, which can be used to adjust lighting and thermostats as well as check security settings.”
In Australia local automation Company Switch Automation is set to launch a cloud based energy management system complete with iPhone app. According to director Deb Noller the Company sees energy management software “as a vital part of their automation offering”.
Switch Automation currently offers connectivity solutions for distributed audio systems security cameras and remote home management as well as for content management. They are currently planning on introducing their new energy management system by January.
Parks Associates says that product ownership and service subscriptions are much better predictors than demographic attributes and home ownership regarding who is likely to adopt energy management systems and services.
“The next step in our research is to probe factors motivating consumers to adopt energy management systems and services,” Ablondi said. “Our next research project, Residential Energy Management: Consumer Motives, Actions, and Intentions, in 4Q 2010 will identify benefits relevant to different segments of the consumer market as well as who they trust to provide these solutions and how best to deliver the message to them.”
Later today the Australian Federal Government will issue a report that finds ambitious cuts in energy use will be more easily achieved if done in conjunction with an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax.
Fairfax Media claims that the report by the prime minister’s taskforce was handed to the cabinet in July and recommends Australia adopt a target of a 30 per cent increase in energy efficiency by 2020.
It contains such recommendations as cleaner vehicles, greener building codes, greater energy efficiency standards and disclosure requirements, and encouraging power generators to help their customers use less energy.
It claims that through reduced energy and lower energy costs, a household could shave $296 a year off its energy bill in 2020.