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News I published 15 June 2023

The percentage of installers who also install smart products has stagnated

The demand for smart building products is greater than ever, and not just because they offer more control or comfort. Smart solutions can also contribute to more efficient energy consumption, leading to significant energy and cost savings. In times of high energy prices and a general focus on sustainability, these products are shifting from luxury to necessity. The increasing demand comes as no surprise.

What is surprising, however, is that the percentage of HVAC installation companies that also install smart products has not increased on average but rather stagnated. This is evident from the results of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor, an ongoing survey among HVAC installers in six European countries. How can this stagnation be explained when installers are witnessing a rising demand for smart product installations?

The steady increase in the number of installers implementing smart products has come to a halt

The development of the demand for smart building products has always appeared more like a slow evolution than a rapid revolution. In recent years, we have observed a steady growth in the percentage of installation companies involved in smart product installations.

However, our recent findings indicate that when looking at all six countries together, the average growth has stagnated. While the United Kingdom and Germany still show significant growth, the overall growth is marginal, and Poland even demonstrates a decline. At the same time, the same research reveals a net increase in the demand for smart building products in most countries. So, how is it that the percentage of installers involved in these installations is not keeping pace?

There is plenty of installation work to be undertaken

Somewhere between 50% and 60% of all installation companies are also engaged in the installation of smart products. This is approximately the same percentage of companies that express a positive outlook on the development of smart products. It appears that installers who hold a more neutral or negative view of smart products are less likely to install them.

It is important to understand that starting to install smart products often requires an investment in training due to the complexity of the systems and technology involved. Additionally, inexperienced installers may encounter time-consuming issues during their initial installations. Given the scarcity of time, the investment of time may not seem worthwhile.

Time is scarce within the installation sector due to high demand. Particularly in the HVAC sector, there is significant pressure resulting from both the energy transition and severe labor shortages. Therefore, there is ample demand for installation work without smart products. For installers who have little affinity for smart products, there is no urgency to start working with them.

Installers who do install smart products are doing so more frequently

While the percentage of installers involved in smart product installations remains relatively stable, the high demand necessitates an increased number of smart product installations. As a result, we observe that installers who already install smart products are doing so more frequently. For installers for whom smart products were previously an exception, the installation of such products is becoming more commonplace.

This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. We anticipate that the percentage of installation companies engaged in smart products will remain more or less the same, but they will install a greater number of smart products. For a comprehensive overview of installation companies and their involvement in the installation of smart products in six European countries, we refer to the European Mechanical Installation Monitor by USP Marketing Consultancy.

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