Meet Generation Smart

  • A new study shows how children interact instinctively with smart home technology
  • Children are able to solve tech problems faster than their parents
  • They are becoming the decision-makers on technology purchases in the home
  • Children are actively interested in using smart meters and tech to make their home more energy efficient
  • Smart technology is shaping a new generation of tech-savvy thinkers


From smart phones to smart meters, today’s children are growing up in homes undergoing the biggest technology revolution since the internet. We wanted to find out what effect technology and gizmos are having on our kids. To find out we put ten families through their paces to see how they understand, interact with and experiment with smart technology. 

The results were revelatory, but not entirely surprising.

“Smart homes are a huge shift for all of us,” says UEL development psychologist, Dr Sam Wass, who led the study. “But this generation of children is acquiring the ability to use these new technologies at a rate that often surpasses their mum and dad. We’re calling these four to ten-year-olds Generation S – S for Smart.”

“Growing up in a home that’s connected and smart, from smart meters to voice controlled lights, is fostering a generation of very tech-savvy kids.”

kids looking at a hive colour change lightbulb

In fact, another survey of over 2,000 parents in the UK with children under the age of 11 years showed that:

  • At least half of parents admitted their children are already more confident with smart devices and know more about technology than they do
  • 52% of parents with smart meters said their child likes to understand how much energy their household is using and uses their smart energy monitor to track usage and costs
  • Of these smart households, 60% said they would be more likely to buy other smart home products if their child explained the benefits to them
  • Among children of primary school age surveyed, 60% think their parents should get smart meters to help them save energy and agree that they know more than mum and dad when it comes to smart tech

kid lying on the floor smiling at camera

So, what impact will growing up in a world of smart meters and other connected devices have on the next generation of homeowners?


“As young children grow up in an increasingly smart home environment, their interest in technology, such as smart meters, develops much earlier in life”, says British Gas’ Smart Energy expert, John Geen. “Soon they’ll be running these households more efficiently than their parents and using technology to save energy will be second nature to them!”

Economist Noreena Hertz echoes this sentiment: “We’ve had the Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Millennials, Generation Alpha and Generation K.

But there’s a new generation growing up in Britain. For them, the idea of a ‘smart home’ won’t seem ‘smart’ at all. It’ll be the norm. It will just be ‘home’.”

It sure looks like smart technology is here to stay. And we’ll be there to help even more families and future generations feel at home with it.

For more information on smarter, more connected homes visit

infographic about the smart generation

About the Study

Qualitative study conducted by British Gas and psychologist Dr Sam Wass, June-July 2017. Ten families with children aged 4 – 10 years old took part in smart home technology related tasks and interviews and the participants were made up of a mix of families that did and did not have smart home technology.


About the Research

Nationwide survey carried out by Opinium research in June 2017 of 2,316 UK parents of children aged 4-11 years old plus a nationwide survey of 500 primary school aged children (5-11 years old) in June 2017.

We use cookies to provide a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or click here to manage cookies.