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The installed base of homes with home energy management (HEM) systems, either standalone or networked, will grow from 4 million this year to 87 million in 2022, according to a report from Navigant Research.

Navigant says the HEM market is expanding at a slow but steady pace, as new industry participants introduce products and a few U.S. utilities, including Oklahoma Gas & Electric, NV Energy, and Baltimore Gas and Electric, promote HEM products linked with demand response programs. At the same time, Navigant reports, the U.K. government has mandated that each home with smart electric and/or gas meters include an in-home HEM display.

"The home energy management market has shown new signs of life in the past year, as non-utility players, such as broadband service providers and home security companies, have moved in and started to lay the groundwork for growth," says Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant.

"In some countries, government mandates that require energy management tools to be included with smart meter deployments will also play an important role in driving the market over the next 10 years," he adds.

According to Navigant, the barriers to wider adoption of HEM systems continue to be the cost and the perception of a long payback period. Although some consumers will be motivated by rising electricity costs and a desire to conserve energy, many others see little reason to jump in if the payoff is negligible, as savings of 3% to 5% may not be enough for them to change, Navigant notes. Similarly, most consumers have a hard time justifying the initial investment in HEM hardware systems that cost $200 or more.

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