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Homeowners increasingly willing to pay a premium for automation

By Berit Griffin July 23, 2014

The high today is 96 degrees with humidity. You’re off to work in the morning when you come to an abrupt stop. The thermostat. How should it be set? Your home will be empty for the next nine hours, but you hate the thought of returning home to muggy living quarters. More than that, you hate the idea of running the thermostat — and the electric meter — to keep the empty house cool.

For a growing segment of homeowners, this an antiquated problem. That’s because home automation is giving homeowners more control than ever, especially while away from the home. According to BUILDER Magazine, that’s a convenience homeowners are increasingly willing to pay a premium for, too.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents in a recent BUILDER Magazine survey ranked energy management as one of the top features that matter most to them in a smart home. HVAC heating and cooling management was cited as the most important feature in helping to reduce utility bills. Nearly 43 percent of respondents say they’d be interested in replacing their thermostat with a “smart thermostat,” one that automatically adjusts when the home is occupied.

As for the premium cost, the survey found that 51 percent of respondents would be willing to pay up to $500 for a fully equipped smart home; 32 percent say they’d pay $500 to $3,000.

[Image courtesy Builder Magazine]