Utilities forming partnerships to enter the connected home

Posted: 5th April 2013

Parks Associates hosted Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer in San Antonio, 2013. The fourth-annual event highlighted innovative energy solutions entering the connected home from a variety of channels, including utilities, telecoms, security, retail, and HVAC.

Consumers have many choices in acquiring smart devices, which will lead utilities to partner with companies in new ways. The opening keynote set this cooperative tone with a joint presentation between Ted Reguly from SDG&E and Roy Perry of Alarm.com, who discussed their partnership in the "Reduce Your Use" Thermostat Pilot Program. Reguly highlighted SDG&E's plans to transition its energy programs to encourage third parties in deploying their own energy solutions. Through incentives or tariff structures, such as time-of-use (TOU) rates, utilities can establish market conditions where new energy-efficiency and demand response solutions leverage technologies already in homes.

This emphasis on deployed platforms is an important step because energy-saving offerings are often an afterthought when consumers adopt connected home solutions. Multiple speakers, including Kevin Meagher of Lowe's, noted that most consumers do not go into stores actively seeking energy management solutions. Even when energy offerings are free, only 50 percent of households take advantage.

Consumer desire for home management is hierarchical. At the base, consumers value safety. Several consumer segments value energy management, especially when bundled with security and safety offerings but, even then, they do not want to spend much time or effort on energy solutions. Approaches that use technology to automate energy management have the best chance of success within the mainstream population. Consumers favor automated solutions and ones that tie to existing platforms like smartphones and tablets.

Source:Fierce Energy. Read the full article here.

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