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Energy management will spur accelerated growth of home area networks


September 12, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

September 11, 2012 – The uptake of home area networks (HANs) has been quite low to date, says Pike research, with adoption levels in fractions of a percent, despite their logical extension of smart meter deployments. HANs allow devices inside a home to communicate with the grid and access energy-saving applications. Now, a set of market drivers around energy efficiency and enabling technology is “starting to coalesce around some common standards”, helping to propel more aggressive levels of growth.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the total number of households worldwide with HANs will reach 57.5 million by 2020.

“Inhibiting factors, including consumer indifference, the high cost of new gear, evolving standards and tepid utility support continue to dog the HAN market,” said senior research analyst Neil Strother. “Nevertheless, the opportunity for consumers to save money on their energy bills will be a strong motivator, and HANs that can take advantage of new smart metering capabilities will offer them new ways to do that.”

The report forecasts that networked home energy management shipments will grow steadily through the rest of the decade, starting with worldwide volumes of nearly 18,000 in 2011 and growing to almost 4 million in 2020. North America will lead, followed by Western Europe, as government mandates accelerate the market, especially in areas where time-of-use pricing schemes are in place.