Smart Homes 2012: will government regulations stimulate or stifle the market?


Increased government regulations in the smart homes arena could help shape the future of the smart homes market says Smart Homes 2012 director Ed Butler.  The event will gather the leading minds in the smart homes industry in Amsterdam in October and forms part of the largest European utilities event with more than 6500 energy professionals attending.

In the run-up to the event, Smart Homes’ Ed Butler says “though we may not predict what ingenious new gadgets will emerge, it may be possible to set down a regulatory framework with appropriate targets and subsidies which can train entrepreneurialism and innovation towards the governments’ 2020 20% carbon reduction ambition.  We have all witnessed the transformative effect regulation has had in Europe on cleaning up the energy industry.”

According to Ed Butler the home of the future can become a repository for energy storage, a means to balance the grid and to consume energy more efficiently.  He continues:  “there is scant regulatory requirement about the need to ensure the inter-appliance connectivity of the home. Yet by enacting this, governments could perhaps take a lead in catalyzing the development of the smart home and in so doing help to realize national carbon reduction targets.”

“Government regulations will freeze everything”
However, when gauged, many of the industry experts who are to speak at Smart Homes felt that the market functioned best without government interference.  As Morten Bremild, owner and founder of Axelerate in Denmark, and Smart Homes speaker, suggests “if governments take on the mandate of regulating the smart home, everything will freeze!”

In describing the way forward Bremild sees the process ahead more like a walk through fog:  “We can only see the path a few meters ahead, but it reveals itself as we take the next steps!  Consequently, the important thing is not the future state of the industry (the vision), but the direction of the industry!  And the direction right now is innovative connectivity platform solutions and not regulated smart homes”.

Smart Homes’ director Ed Butler agrees that “the market functions best when unshackled by burdensome regulation.  But it remains for the government to help shape the market arena, provide financial prompts, leadership and even coercion at times.”

Yahoo, Deutsche Telekom, RWE feedback
The third Smart Homes conference and exhibition will showcase the latest developments across the entire market, from home energy management to assisted living, electric vehicles, home entertainment and smart home security.  Market leading companies who will offer some insights and feedback on their current smart home projects include:

  • Deutsche Telekom present their views on the means and benefits to ‘creating a winning partnership’
  • Turkcell and Pronet share their experiences in developing a smart home security system through collaborative efforts
  • RWE offers feedback on results achieved so far one year on from mass market deployment
  • Alliander discusses opportunities for link ups between electric vehicles and the smart home hub
  • Technology Standards Board based in the UK present their experiences on creating Europe’s largest assisted living projects
  • Yahoo! present the latest on their work in home entertainment data protection management

Smart Homes takes place alongside Metering, Billing/CRM Europe and Transmission & Distribution Europe, forming the largest utility event on the continent.

Event dates and location:
9-11 October 2012
Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands

Event website:

For more information or media accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  ++27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  ++27 82 562 7844