There are now more than 1.5 million homes in the UK using a smart thermostat after 500,000 were installed last year alone.

Research and consultancy firm Delta-ee expects the yearly rate of adoption to reach nearly one million by 2020, despite remaining barriers such as “high price points and lower installer engagement”.

It predicts the annual growth rate for connected home technologies is expected to be 30 per cent over the next few years.

The company said connected home devices “allow users to enjoy higher comfort and better control” while potentially reducing consumption.

Delta-ee highlighted British Gas “is currently leading the way” as the energy supplier has sold around 1 million devices including 700,000 smart thermostats and 50,000 remote boiler diagnostics.

Arthur Jouannic, leading connected home expert at Delta-ee, said: “The market clearly benefits from the rise of the Amazon and Google connected speakers, estimated to be in over 1.5 million UK households.”

He said the devices are “almost a gateway technology” as users “quickly come to understand the value of controlling devices remotely”.

Jouannic added: “It’s a race to capture market-share. As with our laptops and phones, different platforms won’t always work well together and companies will try hard to lock customers into their own ecosystem. Much will depend on who can build that critical mass of users first and a smart approach to partnerships.

“British Gas and the tech giants seem to have the early advantage, but challenger energy suppliers like Shell-owned First Utility, boiler companies, home services businesses and insurances are also making their move to grab a piece of the pie.”

Delta-ee has been monitoring the connected home market since 2009.