Up to 40% Energy Savings ‘Achievable’ from Home Energy Management

luxHome energy management technologies, which give residential customers energy dashboards, user advice, and automated and adaptive controls, can drive energy savings from 1.5 percent to more than 40 percent, according a study by to Lux Research.
Such technologies are emerging as the next frontier for”forward-thinking utilities,” but their value to utilities goes beyond energy savings – to customer engagement, competitive differentiation, and demand response, according to Master of the House: Cutting through the Hype in the Frenzied Home Energy Management Space.
To maintain their edge in competitive markets, utilities are increasingly partnering with home energy management technology companies such as Opower and EcoFactor to engage with residential consumers. However, telecom companies like Deutsche Telekom and even technology companies like Google are also getting into the home energy management mix, threatening to shake up residential electricity markets.

According to Lux, the last 12 months have seen “a flurry of investment activity” in the home energy management space. California-based Nest Labs was recently acquired by Google for an astronomical $3.2 billion, and Control4 found “sky-high” valuation with its IPO last August.

Lux Research analysts evaluated the US, European and Asian markets for home energy management suitability and analyzed the leading start-ups in the field. Among their findings:

· The largest opportunity exists in the developed world. While housing stocks are growing most rapidly in developing countries like India and China, 90 percent of the home energy management opportunities lie in retrofits in existing homes, making rich markets like the US and Western Europe most attractive.

· Customer engagement is the broader goal. Utility revenues are huge – around $265 billion in Europe, $370 billion in the US, and $1 trillion in Asia. In order to stay competitive, utilities are spending less than 1 percent of revenues on home energy management to engage with customers via energy dashboards and in-home display panels.

· Automated meters, rates and renewable energy mix are key. The success of home energy management will depend on three key factors – automated metering infrastructure, electricity rate structures and renewable energy supply mix through 2020. Asia is ripe for home energy management but lacks a renewable mix. European states are subject to directives to equip 80 percent of consumers with intelligent metering systems by 2020.

The wider adoption of home energy management technologies has been a major factor in more people adopting cleantech, according to a article by Environmental Defense Fun republished on EMT in March.

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