Creating a business around HomeAssistant

I’ve been running Home Assistant for a few years now and I think it’s added vallue is enormous.

For example I have automated my heat pumps to start heating / cooling the house, based on the power generation of my solar panels. Nobody seems to be doing this, let alone be as vendor agnostic as HomeAssistant.
In the Industry (Here in Belgium where I live) I see a lot of companies investing in technologies that sell and buy power from the grid depending on the price, to charge / discharge a home battery. But If you don’t have a battery…
I do acknowledge there are premium systems like Loxone, but they require your house to be wired a specific way and are very expensive.

I think there is a lot of bussiness value, and I’m wondering if anyone is caputuring it.

I do see the potential risks in a lot of business models, when trying to do something comercial with Home Assistant.
The most obvious one’s being stability, dependancy on third party API, support work.

But I see a lot of people around me who are very impressed and knowledgeable enough to get started on their own. But they just lack time and initial motiviation to get started.

My question in this post is simple, do you know someone who is capturing the value Home Assistant brings?

Besides that question, what do you think would be the best way to capture it?
I’d like to hear your thoughts and brainstorm further on them.

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My first thought is that the help desk part of this business would be excruciating.

My second thought is along with:
I do see the potential risks in a lot of business models, when trying to do something comercial with Home Assistant. The most obvious one’s being stability, dependancy on third party API, support work.

There is the insurance/liability costs of something like this.

Yeah, I think it’s possible to just not sell support. But this would eliminate B2B and also a big part of b2c. Since those customers require plug and play products that keep working for years on end.

If you can figure out a solution, using HA as the brain, to control your scope (only the solar panel setup & heat pump setup) locally… then it would probably be fine with zero update and zero internet and zero tech support.

But it’s going to be a big if, to get everything being controlled and communicated locally.

You will also want to limit the urge to add anything extra to your setup. Because as soon as you add sensors and bulbs and switches… tech support would likely come sometime down the road.

Maybe just focus on supplying ready made hardware kits /sets or providing workshop like courses for starters and intermediate users to get started.

So no maintains contracts, just courses

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Well being here in home automation business since more than 30 years, I can tell you that support is always a large part of this work !
I have worked with AMX and Crestron systems during ages and support was already a large port of work and maintenance to keep everything working properly for customers !
We have installed HA for some of our customers that we have switched away of AMX or Crestron systems. One of them is running with HA since 3 years and so far it’s not more difficult to maintain than traditional home automation system.
HA has brought a lot more flexibility being an open source system and in the past we were using the home automation system mainly for AV while now with HA we use it for everything as it’s both an automation system and also easily a monitoring system.
I would like also to state that of course once system is setup and running we don’t do any updates in HA (whatever HA itself, addons,…). Updates are usually done once a year when we do maintenance work on system and so can check after updates that everything is still working as it should :slight_smile:


Are any of you involved with projects at the design and build stage?
Meaning that you can influence the wiring and infrastructure?

Or do you only get involved once the clients want to add controls when the build is finished?

Yes, that’s one of my initial thoughts aswell. Prepare hardware kits for specific use cases and workshops on how to use them.

What is the bussiness model you have been using for 30 years?

It’s the lack of timely, guaranteed technical support that effectively makes you your sole source of support.

  • Technical support from the community is available but a response is based on a volunteer’s availability and interest. I can’t speak for others but as a long-time contributor, I wouldn’t be interested in becoming an unpaid technical consultant for someone’s for-profit business.

  • Home Assistant’s GitHub Core repository currently has a backlog of over 2500 Issues so it’s clear that there’s no obligation, from Nabu Casa’s development team or contributing developers, to solve problems in a timely manner (or at all).

You have several years of experience with Home Assistant so you will have to lean heavily on the body of knowledge you have developed.

Knowing that Home Assistant (and I am referring to the project as a whole and not just the product itself) was never geared to become the first choice for professional integrators, you will have to devise strategies for mitigating its shortcomings in order to ensure your customers get a reliable product (and your after-sales support calls are minimized).

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of course we always start projects by design of system and talking with clients for his needs and suggestion what is possible/interesting to have, and so we also select products that are controlable and efficient !
if we arrive after, or for refit, then we find out best options possible and relative costs (you can decide to keep existing pants or break everything at extremes) in relation with requests/needs of customer.

Well we design AV systems, home automation system (including most of times also control of third parties devices (not AV like AC, lights…)), install, and maintain them, and refit them when needed also.

what is the difference with paid and crazy expensive products like AMX, Crestron or others where support answers you they have no solution or it’s a bug ? you just have to wait an update from manufacturer while in HA you can more easily go around the problem or find an alternative way to get the result expected !

Depends on the terms of the support agreement. There may be financial consequences for the vendor.

Depends on the problem. Some have workarounds, some don’t.

Ideally you want to avoid creating a situation that requires a prompt “heroic” solution by only offering what has been pre-tested and known to be functional in advance of deployment. “Ideally” because efforts to avoid problems aren’t always successful.

such things have never existed for home automation systems even the old established like AMX, Crestron…

Well we can argue a long time on these points but so far my experience clearly shows me we can find a lot more easily a workaround with HA than traditional systems :wink:
The key point is that we select products we have tested and/or from manufacturers we know as efficient and good control avalaible !

Let’s use some simple example. Here in Croatia you can hire some company or individual to install surveillance cameras usually with nvr. They generally sell their cameras and nvr that are far more expensive than you can buy online.
Installing surveillance cameras is basically easy task. The hardest thing is to mount them on a house and run cables. And this is all they provide. I don’t think that they will be able to hook everything to home assistant and configure it. :smiley:

Or when I decided to install my home alarm system I couldn’t find installer. Looking online I found out that installing my alarm system, that I done myself will cost me at least 1.500,00 € and this will be very very low price. And that is a job you can do in two days.

Now, you have much more complex task as is installing home assistant in someone house or apartment. It will require a lot of effort, skilled workers and in the end it will not be cheap.

You have to provide complete solution for it, from hardware specifications, smart devices that will be installed and used, what will and how it will be automated, installing and configuring the whole system and in the end maintain it and provide full support for it. And this is lot of expenses and those expenses will generate a high price. And then you will be facing questions like …well this is free, I can download it and install it for free by myself, why are you charging for it xxxx euros.

Well because this is expensive thing to do. Everyone can look on them self and see how much effort, time and knowledge they put into their smart homes to make it work. If you translate that time and effort and knowledge into the money… well its a lot of money that someone spend to educate himself on this mater.


I recall Premise and CQC offered support agreements tailored for professional integrators. That was a long time ago, they no longer exist, and I no longer recall the exact agreement terms.

I never disputed that point and agree with you.

To be clear, I never advocated for “traditional systems”, that’s something you injected into the conversation as a strawman argument in this post

Based on my personal experience of using Home Assistant for over five years, and supporting thousands of users in this community forum and in the Core repository, I believe a professional integrator would need to be their own source of support for Home Assistant; the project isn’t geared to provide them with timely technical support.

For that matter, it’s barely equipped to support anyone else, with an official backlog of 2500 reported Core Issues (350 for Frontend) and all other technical support relegated to unpaid volunteers. I know from personal experience that Issues can be left unresolved and automatically change to “stale” status whereupon they’re closed. No solution and sometimes not even a reply.

An integrator shopping around for software solutions would want to know that before making any decisions.

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The only serious business one can create around HA, is a ( “Black-Box” Total Solution ), with “User-Restrictions” , Admin Account is entirely for Support / “Product Update” Etc. ( Admin Access is Not a Customer “feature” in such Solution )
So if someone want to build a ( Serious ) business Around HA, it’s All or Nothing.
There is ofcause the alternative, that you can “Offer” people a “Solution” , Which they can tamper with(direct or un-intentional ,or unaware, however they want ) , and then leave the customer (poor victim) in the ditch.