Smart Grid News and Analysis

IoT World Forum 2018
IoT World Forum 2018

Tech Trepidation: Over 39 million Brits too nervous to try new technology


E.ON teams up with Philippa Forrester to discuss attitudes to new technologies and the benefits of smart metering.

Over 39 million Brits1 avoid trying new technology when it’s first released, according to new research from E.ON2. While 95% of UK adults claim that technology makes their lives easier, fewer than one in 10 rushes to get their hands on new gadgets when they’re first launched (8%).

Over half of people like to wait until new tech has proved itself in the market (56%), while almost one in five wait until their nearest and dearest have tested emerging technologies before getting their hands on it themselves (19%).

But although many people are apprehensive about using the latest gadgets, three-quarters are now banking online (75%) – despite almost half being cautious at first (43%). Meanwhile, over two-thirds are regularly choosing the web to shop (67%) – despite almost half hesitating before making those first purchases (46%).

The top five tech developments of our time were stated as:

Being able to shop online (29%)
Online banking (24%)
Mobile internet devices (22%)
Recording live TV (17%)
Streaming films and TV online (3%)

E.ON, which is installing new smart meter technology in its customers’ homes, commissioned the research to assess people’s attitudes to new technologies. The findings show that the biggest advantages of new technology are how much time it can save people (59%) and the help it can provide with managing finances (40%).

Technological advances can impact the way people monitor their bills too, with over three-quarters of adults recognising that innovations like smart meters can help them monitor their energy use (76%).

Half of the respondents who already own a smart meter listed the main benefit as receiving accurate rather than estimated energy bills (50%), while almost half also enjoy the feeling of being able to actively reduce their bills by monitoring their energy use in the home (49%).

Jean Fiddes, from E.ON’s Smart Metering programme, said: “Our research shows that consumers are increasingly using technology to make their lives easier, while also saving money on everyday costs. Smart meters are an excellent example of how new technology can help bring big energy savings in the home, ensuring our customers use no more energy than they need to.

“Over 71% of respondents said that they’d be more likely to reduce their usage if they could see how much energy they’re using, and now smart meters can allow them to do just that.”

Broadcaster, keen environmentalist and former Tomorrow’s World Presenter Philippa Forrester said: “New technologies are often met with scepticism when they’re first introduced. But when later adopted, many of us wonder what we ever did without them. Online shopping and banking and on-the-go entertainment were all at one time considered ‘new’ technologies but are now very much part of our day-to-day lives. And although we may get nostalgic about the good old days, many of us appreciate the convenience and control technology can offer.”

1. Based on 87% of those questioned and the total number of UK adults (44.9 million UK adults in 2011, ONS). 87% of 44.9 million = 39, 063, 000.
2. Research carried out amongst 2,002 UK adult respondents by in January 2014