BOULDER, Colo. — An examination of the strategy and execution of 16 leading home energy management (HEM) vendors, including vendor profiles and rankings, is provided in a new Leaderboard Report from Navigant Research.

While the HEM market has struggled to gain traction in the past, particularly from a utility standpoint, it began gathering momentum in 2014 and continues to grow as consumers find value in its technologies and services, including home energy reports, web portals, and in-home displays. Though some companies in this market have left to pursue other goals or have settled into niche roles, Navigant Research says two vendors stand out among the competition. According to its new Leaderboard Report, Opower and Google’s Nest Labs lead the HEM vendor market in terms of strategy and execution.

“While hardware is certainly an important part of HEM, as the market continues to grow, software platforms and analytics play an even more important role in engaging customers and fostering awareness, such as participating in demand response or energy efficiency programs,” said Paige Leuschner, research associate with Navigant Research. “Opower and Google’s Nest Labs have shown that they offer solutions mutually beneficial to utilities and customers that outpace competitors.”

Though many HEM vendors struggled to gain traction in the early years of this market, according to the report, Google’s 2014 purchase of Nest Labs signaled that a giant tech company saw something worth pursuing in smart thermostats and connected home devices. This led to increased innovation, with more vendors exploring possibilities beyond hardware devices.

The report, Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Home Energy Management, examines the strategy and execution of 16 companies that offer HEM software solutions and rates them on 12 criteria. Using Navigant’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the global HEM market. Both Opower and Google emerged as leaders, as they scored highest for their ability to offer innovative suites of solutions to utilities and consumers that help them more efficiently manage energy use. Seven others are ranked as Contenders, six are Challengers, and one is a Follower.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

Publication date: 9/8/2015

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