Home energy management market set to grow in North America

As home energy management becomes more widely adopted, utilities will continue to invest in enabling technologies and services

Framingham, Mass., October 1, 2012 — While growth in home energy management (HEM) investment will be more conservative than other areas in the smart grid, utilities in North America will spend about $577.8 million by 2016. This is according to a new report by IDC Energy Insights.

According to "Technology Selection: North American Home Energy Management Spending Forecast, 2011-2016," North American utility investment in HEM has supported pilot programs and test deployments.

Looking to 2016, IDC Energy Insights forecasts broadening adoption as consumers become increasingly engaged and as utilities comply with regulatory mandates for home area network development as a critical component of the emerging smart grid.

IDC Energy Insights defines home energy management as an ecosystem of technologies and services that enable electricity customers to shift consumption behaviors in response to signals from the grid to see economic benefits and support smart grid goals.

As home energy management becomes more widely adopted, utilities will continue to invest in enabling technologies and services, but shift the focus away from the in-home environment to shape a robust HEM business case and engage customers to change behavior through programs including demand response.

Electric utilities in North America however, face a difficult challenge to develop the business case for home energy management in light of tepid adoption observed through pilot projects, current costs of HEM solutions and components, and the long cycle of changing consumer behavior with fixed electricity rate structures.

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