Monthly Archives: August 2019

Smart Homes Require ‘Smart’ Installers

smart home technology

Installers, are you future-proofed? Are you keeping up to date with the latest innovations? If so, you may be delving into the world of smart home technology. In fact, that may be the very reason you have clicked on this blog. If you are an installer whose homeowners are investing in smart home technology or you are just eager to learn more and close a few knowledge gaps, you’re in the right place. This guide will walk you through the basics of smart home technology and how to use the technology to sell more.

What is a smart home?

A smart home uses technology to improve home life. Homeowners can control electronic devices in the home in real time or through automation. Three popular examples are lighting, security and heating. These smart devices are connected to the internet and can be controlled using a mobile phone or any other networked device. Other terms for smart homes are home automation and smart buildings.

What are the benefits of smart homes?

Key benefits of smart homes are that they can save homeowners energy and money, provide them with greater security and safety, enable them to make ‘smarter’ choices and ultimately, make their life easier.

Save homeowners energy and money
Smart devices can not only switch off appliances, but they can also monitor energy usage, allowing homeowners to stay informed of how much energy is being used day-to-day and what it is costing. Installing smart technology to monitor heating, water and electricity reduces the likelihood of homeowners receiving a larger bill than expected and aids homeowner education.

Provide homeowners with greater security and safety
With smart technology homeowners can secure their doors and windows at the click of a button, watch live streams of their home whilst away and be alerted to any unusual activity.

Make homeowners’ lives easier
Smart technology brings greater control to the homeowner, enabling homes to work around them, not the other way around. With smart technology homeowners can turn their pre-set heating off in the circumstance that last-minute plans crop up, they could unlock the door for a family member who has returned home earlier than expected, and they could also turn the lights on ready to welcome them home late in the evening. The best bit? They can do all of these without having to be in their home.

Educated homeowners make ‘smarter’ choices.
Smart technology is designed to make lives easier, but it also designed to make the homeowner more conscious of their actions, particularly when it comes to our countries carbon footprint. 

Home awareness is key to any installers tool kit, educated homeowners offer great upselling opportunities to installers and smart tech could get your foot in the door.

For example,

  1. Homeowner monitors their energy spend through their smart device that you installed.
  2. Homeowner realises their spend is too high.
  3. Homeowner looks to reduce energy bills.
  4. Homeowner looks for a more efficient/cost effective way to manage their energy.
  5. Homeowner looks at the product range you offered them on your first visit.
  6. Homeowner purchases combi-boiler or a solar assisted heat pump meaning that you earn return custom.

Top tip: Make sure you leave a good impression no matter how small the job, return custom and referrals are a major lead generator for most installers.

What are the major smart home systems?

With the growing popularity of smart homes, there are many systems to choose from. However, the current two major smart home systems are Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

How do homeowners get started with smart technology?

As with all areas of home improvement, most homeowners begin the process with research. They will be looking online and asking installers for product reviews, weighing up the pros and cons and looking for a ballpark figure for costs.

Therefore, your customer could ask you about smart technology and being educated could potentially pay off for you. Although not all smart home products require professional installation, educating yourself in all areas of smart technology enables you to advise your customer, whatever their question.

What are the benefits of smart homes to an installer?

Creating a smart home is not just installing an Amazon or Google system and asking it to play your favourite song, it is much more than that.

At their core ‘Smart Systems’ are designed to empower homeowners to become more informed, more secure and more aware which in turn creates opportunities for home improvement companies.

For example;

A homeowner who is more aware of their energy bill spend may seek renewable technology.
A homeowner who installs a smart doorbell, may seek a smart door.
A homeowner who installs a smart window/door sensor, may seek new windows and doors.
A homeowner who installs a smart meter, may seek a smart lighting system and thermostat.
A homeowner who installs a smart camera, may seek a full security system.

What smart technologies should installers be considering?

  1. Smart Doors
  2. Smart Lighting Systems
  3. Smart Sound Systems
  4. Smart Smoke Detectors
  5. Smart Doorbells
  6. Smart Security Systems

Top Tip: You could explore all smart technologies and package it up as a one-off installation, ‘Smart Home Package’, a package that would create an instant smart home.

How can installers get started with smart technology?

You’ve already taken an important step by reading our basic guide to smart technology. The next step is to prioritise staying informed. “But, how?” we hear you ask. There is more than one route to go down. Some installers will prefer to stay informed by investing in training, while others may prefer subscribing to newsletters and blogs or speaking with other installers and/or homeowners. Each is helpful and can keep installers in the know.

Staying informed ensures that you are in a perfect position to advise customers on the benefits, latest innovations and trends and associated costs when planning a smart home.

Below we have included some resources that you may find helpful should you wish to continue your smart home learning.

https://www.cediaeducation.com/courses/installer-courses

http://www.smarthomeacademy.co.uk/

https://smarthomesolver.com/

Greentherm Solutions Joins HICS as an Affiliate Partner

greentherm solutions

Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme (HICS) have accepted Greentherm Solutions onto their Affiliate Partner Scheme as the UK’s first Icynene spray-foam technology distributor.

Greentherm Solutions specialise in spray applied insulation, using Icynene high-performance spray-foam technology, a system originally developed in Canada.

Paddy Leighton, Director of Greentherm Solutions, commented,

Icynene is a modern alternative to traditional forms of insulation, delivering quality and innovation in home insulation. We were keen to work with HICS, a highly reputable consumer protection scheme who can offer end to end complete consumer protection.”

Paddy continued,

Traditional forms of insulation are relatively inefficient and can lead to cold bridging (a weak spot in the insulation) and localised condensation and dampness. Icynene, endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust, is a fully breathable, environmentally friendly open-cell spray foam insulation that delivers up to 50% greater energy savings when compared to other home insulation products and has the highest level of vapour resistivity of any soft foam on the market.”

Ciarán Harkin, Managing Director of HICS, commented,

“We are very excited to have Greentherm Solutions on board as a HICS Affiliate Partner. HICS is all about protecting consumers and giving them trust, confidence and peace of mind. We welcome partnerships with companies such as Greentherm Solutions who can deliver innovative products and highly-trained installers to help positively impact the home insulation market.”

 

Notes:

Who are Greentherm Solutions Ltd?

Greentherm Solutions Limited are distributors for Icynene. Greentherm Solutions Directors have over 30 years’ experience each in the construction industry. They are the sole distributor of the Icynene range of spray-foam insulation products to the UK market. Greentherm has a network of accredited contractors in the British Isles. Icynene has achieved BBA, ETA and BDA approvals and certifications together with a host of other approvals and recommendations.

Who is HICS?

Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme (HICS) is a consumer protection organisation covering a range of installations within the home improvement sector. HICS ensures that consumers are dealt with professionally, courteously and sympathetically. Any products installed by HICS Members must be fit for purpose, installed professionally and come with comprehensive guarantees which are covered by specialist insurance providing consumers with a high level of protection. HICS is supported and endorsed by consumer champions Nick Ross and George Clarke.

HICS also believes that consumers should have free access to robust dispute resolution and therefore provides consumers with free Mediation and free independent inspections to assist with installation or product malfunctions (at HICS’ discretion).

Photography From Left to Right: Ciarán Harkin (HICS), Paddy Leighton (Greentherm Solutions), Laura Holmes (HICS)