Control & Automation

Study: Integrators Are #3 Choice Contractor for Home Tech Installation

Consumer study shows that security companies, followed by IT companies, are the preferred contractors for integrated home control, HVAC, lighting and energy.


Jason Knott · July 1, 2011

In another sign of the lack of awareness of the custom installation community among the general public, a new study reports that A/V retailers/custom installation companies rank a distant third as the type of contractor they would expect to offer various home technologies.

The study, commissioned by the Electronic Security Association, shows that home security companies—not custom integrators—are by far the No. 1 choice by consumers for integrated home technology installation. The survey specifically asked about the installation of remote HVAC control, automated lighting control, energy information systems, home control via smart phones and tablets, automatic/remote controlled locks, video surveillance, remote security system control and A/V content storage/access.

In all, 79 percent of consumers expect security companies to offer those services. Only 31 percent of consumers expect to receive whole-house integration services from an A/V retailer/custom installation company.

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We’re #3

The contractors who rank second in the survey are computer/IT companies, with 33 percent of consumers expecting them to offer home technology installation services. Further down on the list are homebuilders (17 percent) and remodelers (11 percent).

Here Come the Phone/Cable Companies
For CE pros, the data is even more foreboding. Right behind custom installation companies at No. 4 is the phone/cable company (30 percent). Mega-companies like Comcast/Xfinity, Verizon, Time Warner and AT&T are all recent entrants to the home control market.

The study also broke down respondents into various classifications, including those who are “smartphone owners” and those who are “professional security systems owners.”  In both of those classifications, there was a dramatic spike in the percentage of consumers interested in purchasing remote HVAC, lighting control, energy management and whole-house control.

The results mean that the alarm companies and the phone companies have the upper hand on custom integrators in terms of reaching customers because they already have huge existing account bases. Independent alarm companies have thousands of existing accounts to sell these services to, while phone/cable companies have millions of accounts… most of which want to buy other home technologies.

Security Dealers Are Most Trusted
The study also asked consumers who they would “trust to do a good job” installing home technology. Once again, home security companies were first (72 percent), followed distantly by computer/IT (23 percent), then CE pro (18 percent). Phone/cable companies were neck and neck with A/V at 16 percent.



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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Lighting · Security · Business · Research · News · Automation · Energy Management · Home Control & Automation · HVAC · Lighting Control · Research · All Topics
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