Don’t Wait for Smart Grid for Energy Management

More energy management services will be available through service providers, research firm says.


Want an energy management system to help your home be more energy efficient? You may not want to wait for “smart grid” programs to be rolled out by local electrical utilities.

Research firm Parks Associates forecasts that over 10 million U.S. households will have independent/non-utility residential energy management networks (iREMs) by 2015, while less than 6 million will have utility-based home area networks (HANs).

“Electricity providers can supplement their power offerings with monitoring and management services, but other players, including communications service providers, are looking to enter the consumer energy management market,” says Bill Ablondi, director of home systems research for Parks Associates. We predict adoption of non-utility residential energy management solutions, including systems from firms such as AlertMe, Control4, and HAI and services from providers such as Verizon and Comcast, will grow more quickly over the next five years.”

Large service providers such as security system giant ADT and cable company Comcast are already rolling out “connectivity” solutions including security cameras, thermostats, lighting control and remote management. Paul Dawes, the co-CEO of iControl, the platform being used for the ADT and likely Comcast rollouts, says to expect more energy management features, including some energy monitoring, to be introduced in 2011. Meanwhile, many electric utilities are still in trial phases for smart grid rollouts of energy management services. There are also doubts as to whether electric utilities will want to venture beyond their traditional point of the electric meter and install and service in-home energy management systems.

Parks Associates is hosting a Smart Energy Summit on January 24 to 26, 2011, in Austin, Texas, to examine the business opportunities and technical challenges as smart grid technologies move into the home.


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