News I published 15 November 2023 I Dirk Hoogenboom
Share of installers involved in smart product installation is stagnating
The demand for smart building products is ever-increasing, and not just because they allow more control or comfort. These smart solutions can provide a more efficient use of energy, thereby saving energy and money. In times of high energy prices and a general focus on sustainability, these products can turn from luxury to necessity. The increasing demand is therefore no surprise.
What is surprising is that the percentage of HVAC installation companies that also install smart home products is stagnating, at least on average. That is apparent in the recent results of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor, a continuous research project among installers from six European countries. How can there be a stagnation of involvement in smart product installation while installers see demand for smart HVAC installations rise?
The rise of involvement in smart product installation has slowed
Demand for smart building products has always developed more as a slow evolution than a fast revolution. Over the past years we have seen installation companies’ involvement in installing smart products develop similarly. The share of installation companies that also install smart building products has grown slowly but steadily on average.
However, our latest results show that average growth has stagnated when looking at all six countries together. The UK and Germany still show significant growth, but development in the rest is marginal, and there is even a decrease in Poland. At the same time, based on the same research, there is a net increase in demand for smart building products in most countries. So how can it be that the share of installers installing them is not growing accordingly?
There is plenty of other installation work
Somewhere between 50% and 60% of the installation companies are actively involved in installing smart products. That is more or less the same as the share of installation companies that consider this development of smart products to be positive. The installers that are more neutral or even negative towards smart product installation seemingly do not bother to install them.
It is important to understand that starting with the installation of smart products may require quite an investment in training due to the complexity of these systems and technologies. Also, the initial installations may cause many problems and take more time due to lack of experience. This investment in time and hassle is not worth it, as time is in short supply already.
Time is in short supply because the installation sector as a whole is dealing with high demand. The HVAC installation sector is specifically busy due to the energy transition on the one hand and labour shortages on the other. So there is plenty of demand for installation work that does not involve smart products. So for installers who have no affinity for smart products, there is no need to go through the hassle of starting with them.
Installers who install smart home products are doing that more often
While the share of installers involved in smart product installation remains the same on average, there is more smart product installation work to be done due to rising demand. As a result, we see that installers who are involved in smart product installation are doing that more and more often. For companies that were only occasionally involved in smart home product installation, those jobs are becoming more common.
In the coming years, this development will likely continue. We expect that the share of companies involved will remain more or less the same, but the share of their projects that involve smart product installation will grow. For the full details of smart product installation activities among installation companies of different sizes in six European countries, we refer you to USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor.
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