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The total number of households worldwide with home area networks (HANs) will reach 57.5 million by 2020, according to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice.

"Inhibiting factors, including consumer indifference, the high cost of new gear, evolving standards and tepid utility support, continue to dog the HAN market," says senior research analyst Neil Strother. "Nevertheless, the opportunity for consumers to save money on their energy bills will be a strong motivator, and HANs that can take advantage of new smart metering capabilities will offer them new ways to do that."

The report forecasts that networked home energy management shipments will grow steadily through the rest of the decade, starting with worldwide volumes of nearly 18,000 in 2011 and growing to almost 4 million in 2020.

North America will lead in shipments, followed by Western Europe, as government mandates accelerate the market, especially in areas where time-of-use pricing schemes are in place, the report explains.

The forecast also shows strong growth in the Asia Pacific region, where shipments will grow from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 800,000 in 2020. This growth is due, in part, to Japanese utility TEPCO, which is seeking bids for deploying approximately 17 million smart meters by 2019. According to the report, smart meter deployments will drive increased HAN volumes.




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