Energy management and monitoring may not yet be a big, big deal in the world of custom electronics—but it’s certainly poised for growth.
In a new Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market in the US 2012 study done by CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) and presented by research firm Parks Associates, more custom electronics installation firms report they plan to offer energy management or monitoring, climate controls and motorized window treatments than almost every other category. (Just look at the orange bars in the graph below.)
Top results of “Not yet offering but plan to offer in 24 months”:
- Energy management or monitoring—10 percent
- Home health monitoring systems—8 percent
- Automated shading—6 percent
- Motorized window treatments—5 percent
- IP Network security cameras—5 percent
- Climate controls—4 percent
- Lighting control—4 percent
- Security (Alarm) Systems—4 percent
At least five of the top eight areas that these custom electronics contractors identified as “planning to offer” concerns itself with some form of energy efficiency. Automated shading and motorized window treatments are gaining popularity by helping to lower heating and cooling costs, and lighting control systems that can dim lighting or set scenes where only the lights come on that are needed have long been regarded as energy savers.
Entertainment still rules in the custom CE roost, but far more custom electronics installers will add services like lighting control. And with the rise of more IP-based (Internet Protocol) home networking systems, energy saving features can be integrated easily. With more affordable IP-based home control systems come IP-based cameras. And security is consistently being used by ADT, Comcast, Verizon, Alarm.com and others as a way into the home, with energy management and other services to follow.
Digital home health care is also poised for significant growth in this sector—and is often paired with energy management as two of the greatest emerging markets, though energy management systems appear to be further along for now.
Retrofits and Mobile Control
Two other findings in CEDIA’s study may show positive signs for energy efficiency services.
Mobile device control, which GreenTech Advocates and others have identified as a key incentive for energy management, is molten hot, with 90 percent of CE installers integrating at least one mobile device, such as an iPhone or iPad, in home control installations. Of that 90 percent, 33 percent say the mobile device is being used as the primary control. Click on the link above to learn the significance.
Retrofits are red hot, too, with 73 percent of projects from custom electronics pros in existing homes, up from about 50 percent in 2007, before the real estate crash. Retrofits could lead to more energy saving services using wireless technologies.
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