Building Automation


Matt Price, Technical Support Engineer for Hager, discusses how the electrical sector is missing out on potential business opportunities on the back of growing demand for home automation.

He also encourages the building industry to ensure greater volumes of automation technologies are included in future new builds to meet growing consumer expectations for more connectivity and control around the home.


Research undertaken by AMA Research says the UK home automation market is worth £160 million annually. It has experienced significant growth since 2010 as home owners seek out system solutions that include access, security, climate, lighting and shading controls, home entertainment and communication systems. Technological advances driving the home automation market include the progress of wireless controls and LED lighting, but also include the widening market for connected audio and visual content via home networks, and the adoption of “app” driven control interfaces, according to AMA’s report. 

Matt Price, Technical Support Engineer for Hager, says:“The growth in demand for home automation technologies presents a great opportunity for the electrical industry. Consumer demand for solutions that provide greater connectivity and energy saving capability within the home, as well as remote control of household functions, will only continue to intensify. More widely used buildings such as colleges can also benefit from smart solutions. Therefore, the electrical contracting industry should be arming itself with technical knowledge and installation expertise to capitalise on such potential domestic and commercial projects.

“There is currently a low awareness of home automation technologies across the sector and those that focus on this area of business opportunity could now reap significant benefit in the future."

Matt Price also encourages the construction sector to embrace the adoption of home automation technologies in new build developments, saying: “There is a real opportunity for the building industry if it starts to offer more automation solutions for customers. For example, home automation technologies could be trialled within a set number of homes across a large-scale development. This would not only offer a point of differentiation from a sales perspective, it would also satisfy an increasing requirement from home owners and tap into their willingness to pay a premium for them. Indeed, I predict that house buyers of the future will insist that automation products and systems are included when deciding to purchase a new home as technology-driven connectivity, currently seen with smart phones, extends to other areas of daily life.”

Hager’s well established home automation product portfolio is also backed by a technical support team to help provide expert guidance to specifiers and contractors looking to build a home automation offering. The company’s Tebis KNX automation solution delivers a smart home management system for lighting, electrical, security, heating, air conditioning and entertainment. With flexible programming capability, it can be used to support the lifestyle requirements of the owners, and introduce efficiencies that over time can result in significant energy and financial savings. Installation is simplified via a single bus cable, ensuring projects can be completed quickly.

A free one day course on Tebis KNX is also available from Hager. Participants can learn about how they can design, install and commission bus systems for commercial and domestic installations with an opportunity to gain hands on experience by programming the system as well. 

Matt Price concludes: “The increase in ‘intelligent’ homes is being driven by customer demand. All stakeholders, from current electricians, the building industry, electrical wholesalers, specifiers and, even those training the contractors of the future, have a part to play if the home automation opportunity is to be fully realised. Once established, such experience can be extended to more commercially-based project opportunities such as education projects where smart solutions can help optimise the efficiency of a building’s performance. Current technology development, allied to home owner expectation, means those across the sector who don’t invest the time and resource now to fully arm themselves with home automation product expertise and a commercial offering, could be left behind.” taken with all parties moving away from a focus on cost.