San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 21, 2010 – The smart energy home is emerging as a highly investable ecosystem with hundreds of developers and billions of dollars of funding, and by 2014, global revenues for home energy management equipment and services will reach $3.3 billion, according to a new report from ON World.
“Energy is the killer app for the smart home,” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “The HAN has become one of the most exciting developer opportunities in the last few years. Smart grid initiatives have seeded this market and primed the HAN ecosystem for hyper-growth.”
The report reviews research with more than 600 early adopting consumers in five continents, finding that they are very interested in saving on energy costs and to a lesser but significant degree in being green, with the majority willing to spend an average of $150 on energy management equipment if they could save up to 30 percent on their energy bill.
A pivotal issue is how home energy systems and services will be distributed to the consumer. Complex utility business models based on country, region, local regulations and AMI initiatives collide with data center capabilities and consumer desires. In Europe’s competitive energy markets many consumers will receive energy solutions for free. In the U.S., consumers are more likely to adopt a home energy system through their security service provider or a broadband/cable operator.
A recent trend is for companies to offer a centralized home energy hub that provides automation and control of in-home energy consuming devices as well as integration with cloud based services. Cisco/OpenPeak, Ecobee, EnergyHub, and GE/Advanced Telemetry offer touch screen in-home displays with rich graphics to provide energy consumption awareness as well as supporting a variety of home controls. Home energy IP gateways by Belkin, D-Link, GE, Jetlun, Rainforest Automation, and Tendril provide centralized home energy management using existing user interfaces (e.g. PCs and mobile phones).
To make energy solutions affordable for the mass market, another group of innovators are emerging such as Alertme, iControl, EcoFactor, and Intamac Systems that provide cloud based platforms that allow home energy service providers to subsidize low cost hardware with a monthly service fee.
Cloud and internet infrastructure providers such as Cisco, Digi, Google and Microsoft also bring essential network integration, device management, storage and data analytics services for utilities and a variety of home energy service providers.
In the U.S., utility HAN pilots are underway in nearly every state and advanced energy saving programs are being developed by the majority of utilities and energy retailers across the country. Comverge, Consert, GridPoint, Sequentric and Tendril provide consumer centered demand response solutions such as automated energy savings, conservation, and dynamic pricing.
Energy retailers in the UK and Australia are using time-of-use pricing and green tariffs to encourage consumers to reduce use during peak energy times. As reward for signing up, they are often given a free energy display by Current Cost, Green Energy Options, or Onzo.
The success of this market is dependent upon advanced HAN technologies, standards, as well as collaboration among utilities, regulators, AMI vendors, device manufacturers, and home energy service providers, the report states.