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When it comes to broadband operators’ strategies around the delivery of smart home services to subscribers, connected thermostats are one of the use cases that has been coming up more as a big deployment potential in the sooner rather than later category. Comcast is an example of a provider that’s made moves in this space recently as it announced a partnership between with Zen Ecosystems at CES 2017 to fully integrate the latter’s connected thermostat with the Xfinity Home ecosystem and make it part of its “family of core devices.”

"We are eager to unveil a new home energy management service soon, fully integrated with Zen Ecosystems, that will redefine what customers expect from their smart home services,” Daniel Herscovici, SVP and GM of Xfinity Home, says. “When we relaunch EcoSaver in the spring, our customers will be able to transform their smart homes into greener homes, while continuing to help them save money on their monthly energy bills."

More signals that smart energy apps have consumers considering cracking open their wallets for the service comes from a Parks Associates report released Tuesday. It says 49 percent of U.S. broadband households want the ability to monitor and adjust their thermostat remotely. “360 View: Energy Management, Smart Home & Utility Programs” further reports that 33 percent of U.S. broadband households find this feature very appealing.

Voice control of smart energy applications could push more adoption of home and energy management products, Parks suggests.

“Voice control has proven to be a very popular user interface among consumers, and it is transforming the smart home user experience," Parks Senior Analyst Patrice Samuels says. “Integrating consumer-focused voice control solutions, such as the Amazon Echo, can create new value propositions for smart lighting, thermostats, and appliances, and by integrating voice control into energy applications, companies can expand consumer engagement with their services and solutions.”

The research firm notes that its data shows 2-4 percent of U.S. broadband households purchased an Echo in the past six months, and concludes that Amazon’s Alexa technology, as well as Google Home, have the ability to drive adoption of multiple smart home and energy management products.

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