Level of trust in energy companies regarding smart devices has doubled

Despite this, a survey conducted by PwC shows utilities are facing increasing smart technology competition from other sectors

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The level of consumer trust in energy companies regarding smart devices has almost doubled since 2016, rising from 34% to 60% over the period.

That’s according to a new survey of more than 2,000 consumers by consultancy PwC, which shows the public are happier than ever to have utilities install and manage connected technologies such as smart meters, automatic thermostats or energy management systems in their home.

However, it also shows progress is being threatened by increased competition from the telecoms industry and tech companies, which have achieved 58% and 55% levels of consumer trust respectively.

The report also shows ownership of smart devices has more than doubled in the last two years, with spending expected to hit £10.8 billion by 2019 and 30% of people now planning to purchase a smart device in the next two years, up 14% from 2016.

With the exception of smart meters, 40% of connected home device owners expect to upgrade their devices within two years.

For private renters, this jumps to 60% of people, especially in relation to home appliances, lighting, plugs and assistants, which can easily be taken with them should they move home.

Steve Jennings, PwC energy leader, said: “Trust could become a major battleground for traditional players over the next few years. While trust rates overall have almost doubled, our survey shows that young people, who are more likely to adopt smart devices, lean more towards tech companies.

“If energy suppliers are to maintain their most trusted position, they need to ensure their propositions engage the younger market.”

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