BOULDER, Colo. - As electric utilities strive to reduce peak demand and provide consumers with energy efficiency tools as part of their smart grid initiatives, the home energy management (HEM) market is beginning to take shape. HEM vendors are seeking to be “the face” of the smart grid by providing consumers with actionable energy consumption information. A new report from Pike Research anticipates that the increased energy efficiency concerns of consumers, along with utility programs, will stimulate greater demand for HEM capabilities including in-home display (IHD) devices, web-based energy management dashboards, and smartphone applications.
Pike Research forecasts that worldwide users of home energy management systems will reach 63 million by 2020, up from just over 1 million in 2011. This figure includes cumulative shipments of IHDs along with active users of web dashboards and mobile applications. Pike Research anticipates that, at the midpoint of the forecast period in 2015, HEM users will reach 13 million, which represents a downgrade from its previous forecast of 28 million, published in the fourth quarter of 2009. This reduction is primarily due to slower than anticipated utility adoption of home energy management, along with a relative lack of pull from consumer demand.
“The home energy management revolution will be delayed, but market growth will still be substantial by 2020,” said research director Bob Gohn. “Utility programs are picking up steam, and are aided in some regions by a strong government push. In addition, new technologies such as electric vehicles will be a significant driver of HEM adoption in the long term. When the garage becomes the gas station, consumers will demand more sophisticated energy management capabilities, and utilities will need greater visibility into residential energy consumption patterns.”
Gohn added that that HEM market is still highly fragmented, with an increasingly crowded competitive landscape. Solutions range from HEM-specific IHDs to web-based dashboards and mobile energy management applications. These offerings are provided by HEM vendors as well as multi-product, multi-channel consumer product and service providers. Gohn said that companies to watch over the next few years will include not only the current field of competitors, but also digital home heavyweights such as consumer electronics manufacturers and broadband service providers, who have an increasing interest in adding energy management to their suite of products and services.