The home energy management (HEM) market has seen its share of starts and stalls over the years. But now, Navigant Research forecasts global revenues will grow from $846 million in 2013 to $2.4 billion by 2023.
Four years ago, the HEM space was overcrowded although there were no clear frontrunners and none of the companies involved had come up with an offering that clicked with customers. At that time, no one had developed the “whole package,” an array of compelling features that made people want them.
Over time, the landscape has changed. The stops and starts continued but now Navigant Research and others are predicting solid growth for the market for a variety of reasons.
One solid boost for the HEM market was Google.
“The HEM market got a jolt when Google purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in January 2014, signaling to the market that a major technology company saw value in home energy and automation,” said Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant. “This sector is poised for significant growth in 2015, as vendors release new products and large retailers offer new, customer-friendly packages and products.”
And, of course, there are more players in the market than Google.
Honeywell released its smart thermostat in mid-year and thermostat company Carrier and Ceiva partnered to provide utilities with the ability to rollout demand response and energy-efficiency programs. Also in 2014, Opower contributed its newest offering with better analytics and what Navigant described as an “open ecosystem” for customers.
There are other perspectives on why devices to monitor and control energy use have become more attractive to consumers, among them rising energy costs and more choices from providers (including utilities) that offer options in pricing.