New research about attitudes to smart homes and technology commissioned by SIRO, the wholesale broadband operator delivering a Gigabit broadband network to 770,000 homes and businesses across the country, has found that almost two thirds (63%) of respondents believe that the energy saving and environmentally friendly benefits are the most important factors of smart homes. Just over half (54%) of the survey participants stated that smart devices have helped them save money.
In the midst of rising energy costs, the technology is particularly appealing to over 55s. The research revealed that that demographic is most aware (72%) of the energy saving and environmentally friendly benefits of smart homes. 61% of over 55s also stated that the technology has helped them to lower costs, higher than any other age cohort.
The research also revealed that high quality broadband is the most important factor for under 35s when considering their ideal home. Just over half of those aged under 35 (53%) surveyed singled out broadband as the deciding factor when purchasing a home, compared to the overall choice of the general public who placed a greater emphasis (40%) on a garden. Changing consumer habits and trends such as the shift to remote working and a fall in car ownership were evident from the research as factors like having a parking spot at their home (15%) ranked lower on the list.
In the wake of the pandemic, a greater appreciation for high-speed quality broadband was also evident with 4 in 5 (84%) members of the general public flagging their support for a change in the Irish law to make it a requirement that developers must install high speed broadband and infrastructure when constructing all new homes.
The research also revealed the widespread adoption of smart devices in Irish households. Almost seven out of ten (67%) consumers own a Smart TV; with just under half (49%) of households in possession of a virtual assistant technology like Alexa; a third of the public using smart home technology like digital heating controls and lighting; and a quarter using security devices like video doorbells.
Noting the research findings, SIRO Head of Operations and New Developments Cian O’Mahony said, “At SIRO, through our work with developers to bring our high-quality fibre broadband to new developments, we see the huge appetite amongst the public for homes with smart and connected devices. Equally retrofitting existing homes with smart technology is a growing trend. Today’s research brings to life the reasons people are opting for smart home technology. These can vary depending on life stages. Those in the older age demographics are more likely to view smart homes as important for environmental reasons, with younger groups valuing the convenience that they provide.
Commenting on the sustainability advantages, SIRO Director of Corporate Affairs Amanda Glancy said,“Smart home devices deliver numerous benefits. More sustainable living, achieving climate change targets, enhanced security or savings on energy or heating bills are key attributes. The latter is very top of mind given the steep increases in energy prices. As fibre broadband networks continue to roll-out across Ireland, this research indicates more individuals, families and communities will take advantage of the benefits of smart homes, particularly for environmental benefits and reducing the cost of living.”
Research conducted by Amárach Research, surveyed 1,585 people in Ireland at the end of January 2022. Amárach Research undertook this piece of research among a nationally representative sample of respondents (age, gender, region and social class) on awareness of and attitudes to Smart Homes.
Head of Operations, Cian O’ Mahony will be speaking at the IHBA Summit tomorrow, April 5th in Croke Park on Broadband and Housing Construction.