New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds smart thermostats taking a larger portion of the market this year, accounting for over 40% of the nearly 10 million thermostats sold in the U.S. The research group estimates smart thermostats will account for over 50% of the total market by 2017.
“Smart thermostats already account for more than one-half of the smart home devices in U.S. broadband households,” says Tom Kerber, director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. “Many utilities have promoted smart thermostats as part of their home energy management initiatives; however, the retail channel accounts for the most units sold last year, nearly 45% of the total market, so opening utility programs to include the variety of different types and brands of devices is an important consideration.”
Retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy are working to increase their offerings in the smart home category, including dedicated space to demonstrate these new products and build consumer awareness. Growth in the retail channel will have a ripple effect in multiple markets. Utilities and other energy service providers are developing strategies to leverage the big data from smart thermostats and other smart home devices for their demand response (DM) and energy efficiency (EE) programs.
“The cost of heating and cooling a home accounts for as much as 50% of the overall utility bill,” says Kerber. “Leveraging data can help consumers reduce energy use and utilities meet energy efficiency and demand response goals. Further, energy providers have the opportunity to monetize the mountain of data derived from both smart meters and smart devices.”