BOULDER, Colo. — Aiming to add energy management to their home automation or home security packages, broadband service providers (BSPs) have begun offering home energy management services. Although these services promise to help consumers reduce or more efficiently control their energy consumption, and thus their utility bills, adoption so far has been tepid. However, according to a new research brief from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the number of subscribers to home energy management services from BSPs in North America will grow steadily through the end of this decade, reaching nearly 900,000 by the end of 2020.

“This nascent market has yet to find real traction among consumers even though market drivers do exist,” said senior research analyst Neil Strother. “Consumers’ desire to reduce their monthly energy bills, new-home construction, and home remodeling present opportunities to install the necessary hardware, and the increasing competition among BSPs in this space demonstrates some market validation. BSPs, however, will need to lower barriers in order to maximize this somewhat limited opportunity.”

Those barriers include the relatively high cost of home energy management hardware, in addition to recurring service fees; contracts that require multi-year commitments; uncertain returns on investment for consumers; energy costs that, for the moment, are relatively low and stable; a lack of technology standards; a crowded, confusing market; and lukewarm utility support. Most U.S. consumers (63 percent) say they are interested in home energy management, according to a recent Pike Research survey, but most are not aware that BSPs currently offer home energy management services.

Publication date: 2/25/2013