Alexa, which is the smartest city in the UK?

Posted 04/12/2018 by E.ON

If you’ve recently got a smart device, then you’re not alone. Whether it’s a voice assistant, smart meter, connected speaker or appliance you can control online, over 12.5 million of us now share our homes with some form of smart technology – around the same number as share their homes with a pet. But what are the most popular forms of connected device and which parts of the UK have the most smart products?  

Over the past few years, the amount of smart devices available for your home has risen dramatically. Voice assistants, smart meters, smart thermostats, smart TVs, sound systems, fridges, lights, doorbells, locks, vacuums and even kettles can now be connected to the internet. All this technology allows you to control almost every aspect of your home through your voice or smartphone, as well as offering new ways to save energy.

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It seems that any electronic product that can be controlled and monitored remotely is now available in a ‘smart’ version. And the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is streamlining the way we interact with these products even further. Pretty soon these products will be able to learn our habits and do everything for us, without anyone having to lift a finger – or even speak.

But while some areas of the country are embracing smart products with open arms, others are still to be won over. So we set out to discover exactly how deep the UK’s love of smart technology goes, and which area of the country is the ‘smartest’. 

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The rise of smart technology in the UK

Figures for the UK’s take-up of smart technology are staggering. In a 2018 trends report, Argos reported that smart home product sales have risen by a massive 161% over the past 12 months*.

Even more popular are smart speakers. Easily connecting to a home’s wi-fi network, a recent Mintel report, “The Connected Home”, revealed that 16% of UK households now own one of these devices. 

Other popular smart products include smart thermostats, home security systems, plugs and light bulbs. You may find shouting at your light to turn on or off a bit daft at first, but there are millions of people giving voice commands to their electronic devices right now – and millions more about to start.  

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According to our research**, the five most popular smart devices are: 

1. Smart TV
2. Smart energy meter
3. Bluetooth speakers
4. Voice-controlled assistant 
5. Self-cleaning oven

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But which parts of the UK love their smart products the most, and which products do they have? We decided to find out. 

The UK’s smartest city

 To find the answers, we asked a series of questions to people from 19 cities across the UK, from Aberdeen and Belfast to Cardiff and Southampton. What we found was a big difference in which devices are used in which cities. 

If you look at individual smart products, Londoners have the most smart thermostats, security cameras, ‘Dash’ buttons, robot vacuums and doorbells. 

But for ownership of more practical home devices, such as smart energy meters and Bluetooth speakers, Liverpool came out top. 

And if it’s smart kitchen cleanliness you’re after, the capital of self-cleaning ovens is Aberdeen. 

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When it comes to overall ownership of smart products, London and Liverpool are again fighting for the top spot. But our research revealed that 80% of Liverpool’s population owns at least one smart product, while London narrowly misses the mark at 79.58%. So it’s a victory for Liverpudlians in the great smart technology slam-down! 

According to our survey, the 10 smartest cities in the UK are:

1. Liverpool
2. London
3. Sheffield
4. Edinburgh
5. Leeds
6. Coventry
7. Newcastle
8. Birmingham
9. Glasgow 
10. Manchester

Connect your home with a smart meter

 According to “The Connected Home”, almost half the population (48%) think that smart home devices will make their lives easier, while 43% think they have the potential to save them money. But out of all the smart products available, the smart meter is the one that can help you to see where you could be saving both energy and money. 

Right now, there are some 12.5 million smart meters working away in homes across Britain, with 24% of households now able to monitor their energy use**. The Government aims to ensure that every home in the country is offered a smart meter by 2020.

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What is a smart meter?

 A smart meter is a device that automatically monitors your gas and electric meters, sending readings to your supplier via its own secure wireless network. As such, it doesn’t need an internet connection to work. This clever device clearly shows you the amount of energy you’re using in your home, and continuous monitoring allows energy providers to calculate an accurate bill.  If you’re an E.ON customer and would like one fitted, you can use our online booking tool to see if you can get one and book an appointment. 

Join the millions of people who are already saving time, money and energy with a smart meter. Find out more and book your free installation today.

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 *Argos, “A Year in Tech”, September 2018 **Research by conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of E.ON, in May 2018 with 2,000 people aged 18 and over.

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