Residential buildings have a major impact on energy use globally and are second only to industry energy use. Despite this fact, the home ecosystem is siloed between smart home and extended home ecosystems with very little overlap. In the report “Delivering Smart Home Energy Management,” Lux Research outlines what can be done to connect the two and deliver a better solution to aid in the transition to clean energy.

“Today, there are no smart home/energy management offerings that deliver on all home ecosystem capabilities,” explains Jessica Hernandez, Analyst at Lux and lead author of the report. The home ecosystem is currently broken down into two siloed parts: the smart home ecosystem, which covers aspects of security, convenience, and comfort, and the extended home ecosystem, which covers on-site energy generation, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging. 

“The only area of overlap between these two ecosystems is in home energy management (HEM), which will be key to uniting the home ecosystem,” Hernandez continues.

More than US$5 billion has been invested in the HEM space since the beginning of the new century, with $3.2 billion in venture investments in the past five years alone. These investments show a strong innovation interest, as attention is coming from incumbents in the space such as electric utility companies and appliance manufacturers but also smart home solution developers, energy service providers, energy storage solution developers, and automotive manufacturers.

“Up to this point, service providers and appliance manufacturers have focused on unique smart home use cases, leaving room for an integrator that takes the middle ground approach to unifying it all,” Hernandez states. “Energy management is the only area that the smart home and the extended home have in common, and so far, this connection has remained relatively ignored by companies focusing on either branch of the home ecosystem.”

In order to move forward, energy providers and smart home developers need to develop partnerships that enable unification across the entire home ecosystem. Service providers should partner with players offering a high amount of flexibility in enabled capabilities.

Lux Research encourages emerging players in the extended home space to focus on developing smart home solutions that deliver both energy management and comfort to appeal to the needs of consumers.