Tech Trend Focus: Energy Management
As consumers become more connected to their homes through integrated home automation and control via their smartphones and tablets, it's only natural that they'll want to find ways to make their homes smarter and more efficient. For most, the obvious place to start is managing the amount of energy their homes use.
When you can control your lights, thermostat, blinds/shades and more from the palm of your hand - be it sitting in your living room or vacationing across the world - you can ensure that you're not wasting energy. Some consumers see this as a way to save money on their monthly utility bills - others focus on protecting the planet. In reality, it does both.
According to research from Parks Associates' 2010 Residential Energy Management Survey (as explained by Green Tech Advocates), 68% of consumers who made energy-efficient home improvements did so to save on their utility bill, 65% did so to make their home more comfortable, and 64% did so to be more energy efficient.
For security integration and monitoring companies, energy management ties into the shift the industry is experiencing toward interactive services. It's another node on the ecosystem you can provide to your customers with a smarter, integrated system.
A typical energy management system consists of a smart thermostat - connected to a network and able to be adjusted via a smartphone - as well as connected lighting and small appliances. Often, the systems can report on a home's energy usage, as well as suggest ways to further save on energy costs.
If there's any doubt that your customers interested in interactive services should be targeted for energy management systems, research from Parks Associates puts it to bed. As reported by Green Tech Advocates:
Take a look at these Parks Associates’ findings of specific groups to target before others in the early stages of home energy management:
Utility companies, often overtaxed during summer heat waves and winter chills, have long been looking for ways to help reduce energy usage, with some offering free smart thermostats to their customers in exchange for the ability to control the home's energy usage during peak periods. While this method is often the norm in countries overseas, it hasn't gained as much traction here in the U.S., presumably because as consumers, we'd rather control our own energy usage - not have a utility decide when to adjust it.
That's a huge opportunity for companies who provide interactive home services. Most consumers certainly would like to save money on their energy bills and help green the planet, but only if they're able to decide when and how to manage their energy usage.
As we've seen in other parts of the security industry, the major telecom companies are ready to jump on this opportunity. Time Warner Cable and Comcast are both working with iControl on their home management systems, and Verizon's offering uses the Motorola 4Home system.
If you're not going to be offering energy management services to your customers, someone else will be. And they'll likely be tying it into a bigger package that includes monitoring and automation -- your business' core competencies.
At ESX 2012 in Nashville, you'll have multiple opportunities to learn more about offering energy management services. In the education program, "Transforming Energy Integration from Cost to Cash" will show how security integration and monitoring companies can increase your company's bottom line by delivering savings to your customers.
Exhibitors offering energy management products will be on display on the ESX show floor, including the new NexTech pavilion, sponsored by SDM, featuring vendors focused on interactive services and new profit centers.
Are you registered for ESX yet? Join the leading security integration and monitoring companies focused on energy management and interactive services this June in Nashville by registering now.