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Consumers are enthusiastic about smart home offerings, especially safety and security applications, even while they are very apprehensive about privacy issues, according to survey results from Parks Associates.

The organization's survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, conducted in the second quarter of 2014, showed that almost two-thirds of households are concerned that smart home systems will lead to privacy violations and unauthorized access to their data and devices.

Parks Associates will address the impact of privacy issues, as well as growth strategies and emerging business models to increase consumer engagement in energy management, during its sixth-annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 16-18, 2015, at the Four Seasons Resort in Austin, TX. Sponsorship for the energy summit is coming from Lowe's, Alarm.com, and EcoFactor.

"Safety and security are the most popular use cases for smart home solutions, so it is not surprising that these security concerns extend to household privacy," said Tom Kerber, Director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "All players in the smart home ecosystem will need to work together to overcome this challenge to market growth."

The firm's research shows the most popular use case for smart home systems is receiving alerts if a smart device detects smoke or fire, with 51% of U.S. broadband households very interested in this scenario.

Survey findings regarding energy-related use cases:
• 30% of respondents are very interested in identifying ways to improve their home's energy efficiency
• 26% are very interested in receiving a daily summary of hourly energy usage
• 29% find a tool to notify them that their energy use is within budget very appealing
• 30% are very interested in the ability to monitor energy use in real time
• 34% very interested in receiving alerts when energy consumption is abnormally high

"Privacy and security standards, such as the guaranteed right to be 'invisible,' would ease privacy worries for the majority of concerned consumers,” Kerber said. “The smart home market will need to develop standards to guarantee consumer protection in order to ensure its continued growth and development.”

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