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Report: Still No Smart Appliances or Energy Monitoring

ABI research suggests 24 million smart appliances and 36 million home energy management systems (HEMS) will ship by 2017.


Worldwide shipments of home energy management (HEMS) shipments will exceed 36 million, ABI Research reports. (click here to enlarge)
Julie Jacobson · February 16, 2012

Home energy management systems (HEMS) and smart appliances have “so far, failed to take off as many had expected,” ABI Research concludes in a recent report. “Many products are still involved in small pilots and have failed to hit retail outlets in any large number.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why we excluded smart appliances and energy monitoring systems in our 5 Home Technology Opportunities for 2012.

But ABI suggests we’ll see some traction in in the smart-appliance market by 2017, with 24 million units shipping worldwide by then:

With smart meter deployment growing apace, energy costs following a seemingly upward trajectory, and progress made on improving interoperability of all aspects of the smart grid, it is only a matter of time before shipments gather momentum. However, it is likely that it will take a couple of years for ultra-premium price tags to erode and for dynamic pricing structures to become more widely implemented in order to titillate consumer demand.

ABI analyst Craig Foster points to the spate of smart appliances launched at recent trade shows from the likes of LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, BSH, Miele and Electrolux. As we’ve seen in the past, however, these “launches” are nothing new and have never made it to the mass market or in some cases to the production line at all.

On HEMS, Foster refers to it as “home energy management” while most of the demonstrations and promises generally relate to “home energy monitoring.”

RELATED: Don’t Confuse Home Energy ‘Management’ with ‘Monitoring’

Even so, he says the number of households with utility-provided HEMS will increase from an estimated 2.5 million households in 2011 to 36 million in 2017.

Considering the utilities were expected to drive the market for home automation for the past 20 years, 2.5 million households with HEMS (practically all of them involving pilot programs) is nothing.

“In the early stages of the HEMS market, an almost unanimous perception existed that utilities would lead the way in terms of the deployment of these solutions,” Foster says. “However, utilities are now widely considered to have acted much slower than many anticipated, allowing many other routes to market to develop.”

We are not among the “many” who anticipated ….

ABI Research’s two reports, “Smart Appliances” and “Utility-Provided Home Energy Management Services,” provide six-year forecasts for the smart appliance market and the utility-led HEMS market, respectively.



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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