Feb
14
2012

Smart Appliance Shipments to Top 24M by 2017

LONDON — The market for smart appliances hasn’t taken off as quickly as many observers expected. Many of these products, which take advantage of broadband communications to operate intelligently and save energy, are still used only in small pilot projects. However, according to a report by ABI Research, shipments will soon begin to pick up and will exceed 24 million units by 2017.

With smart meter deployment growing, energy costs rising, and progress made on improving smart-grid interoperability, shipments of smart appliances should gather momentum. Currently, the high prices of these products pose a significant barrier to adoption. ABI forecasts that in the next few years, these ultra-premium prices will erode and dynamic pricing structures will become more widely implemented.

Major appliance manufacturers have used recent trade shows as launch pads for new smart-appliance products — a sign that the market may soon see substantial growth. “LG Electronics, for example, along with fellow South Korean appliance manufacturer, Samsung Electronics, are two of the first companies to have already brought a comprehensive range of smart appliances to market,” says Craig Foster, ABI’s senior analyst for home automation and M2M. “Whirlpool, BSH, Miele and Electrolux are among the other leading players to have unveiled one or more smart products.”

Additionally, the number of households with utility-provided home energy management systems (HEMS) will increase from an estimated 2.5 million households in 2011 to 36 million households in 2017. Foster says, “In the early stages of the HEMS market, an almost unanimous perception existed that utilities would lead the way in terms of the deployment of these solutions. However, utilities are now widely considered to have acted much slower than many anticipated, allowing many other routes to market to develop.”

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