Homeowners are factoring energy efficiency into purchase decisions of consumer electronics and appliances in an effort to reduce home energy costs, according to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The study, “Home Technologies and Energy Efficiency: A Look At Behaviors, Issues and Solutions,” finds increasing consumer interest in the energy-efficiency benefits of consumer electronics products, including do-it-yourself solutions and professionally installed home technologies.

Consumers are more likely to turn to smart energy meters than home energy audits to reduce energy consumption. In the past two years, about one in 10 households conducted a home energy audit. Of those who had undergone an audit, 61 percent replaced appliances or electronic devices with more energy-efficient models. Fifty-six percent of consumers show interest in smart energy meters that provide information on optimum times to run appliances for utility bill savings.

The CEA finds that 57 percent of consumers believe an equal mix of behavioral changes and the use of new technology will help them conserve household energy. On average, consumers said they would need to see a 31 percent increase in their monthly home energy costs before they would seek out technology options to improve energy efficiency within the home.

“The possibility of another rise in home energy costs provides consumer electronics manufacturers and electronic system contractors the opportunity to educate home-owners on technology and systems that maximize home energy efficiency,” said Chris Ely, CEA senior research analyst. “Consumers are first turning to home improvement stores and utility companies for solutions. CE manufacturers of energy-efficient products and systems should look for ways to increase their presence and work with these outlets to improve consumer awareness.”

Currently, there is low consumer awareness for terms used by the custom installation industry to describe home energy-efficient technology. While consumers are highly aware of the EPA’s Energy Star designation (84 percent), only 50 percent are aware of the term “smart home,” and 38 percent are aware of “home automation.” When given a sample of five major companies that sell smart home products or technologies, a little more than one-third of respondents are aware of those companies.

The complete study is available for purchase at myCEA.CE.org.