Lisa Arrowsmith,
Senior Analyst,
IMS Research
 
Wellingborough, UK ---- (METERING.COM) --- March 7, 2012 - Over the next five years over 25 million home energy management devices, such as smart thermostats, smart energy displays, and smart appliances with the ability to communicate with smart meters, will be shipped in the U.S., while in the U.K. over £2.4 billion will be spent on such devices.

This is according to a new report by IMS Research, reviewing the market for a number of home energy devices in 26 countries and sub-regions.

In the U.S., there has been large investment in smart meters stimulated by the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, currently many consumers are limited in the extent that in-home devices can interact with smart meters, even where they have already been installed, states the report. In the U.S., most smart meters shipped now have the hardware to enable communication with in-home devices. But in many cases this ability is disabled by the utility company. However, as variable pricing tariffs and load shedding programs become more common, and as more utility companies enable smart meters to communicate with in-home devices, the U.S. is set to be a major market for smart home energy management systems.
 
“The management of residential electricity consumption is a rapidly growing business in the U.S., not only as a result of utility companies programs, but also of others – such as major telecommunications companies and security companies – entering the market,” commented IMS Research senior analyst Lisa Arrowsmith. “As more in-home devices have communications functionality, it paves the way for other companies to offer additional services, as a means of increasing subscriber revenues or reducing customer churn.”

The U.K. market is somewhat unusual in that the regulatory framework also includes the provision of in-home displays (IHDs) when smart meters are installed. IMS Research projects revenues for IHDs in the U.K. of £400 million in the next five years. Further, the market for all smart home energy management devices (not including the smart meters themselves) could hit over £500 million in 2016 alone.

“It is not only the government and utility companies that are looking at smart energy management solutions (in the U.K.),” added Arrowsmith. “A range of other companies, from relatively small start-ups to major telecommunications companies, are expected to become more active in improving households’ green credentials – for a nice fee.”

With this deployment of smart meters, device suppliers and service providers are being presented with a major opportunity to develop many new revenue streams, from providing devices with the ability to communicate with smart meters, to offering home energy management and control platforms, the report concludes.