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Home area networks (HANs), which enable a variety of energy-saving applications and devices within the home, are seen by utilities and technology developers as a key element of the smart grid vision. While sales and deployments of HANs to date have been slower than expected, market drivers around energy efficiency and an increasing utilization of standards-based technologies will help fuel moderate growth in the HAN segment over the coming years.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, annual worldwide revenue from HANs will grow from $127 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion in 2020.

“Utilities and home energy management service providers have long expected that increasing smart meter deployments will drive adoption of home area networks,” says senior research analyst Neil Strother. “Motivating consumers to use less energy via new technology, though, can be a difficult sell. Vendors of HAN products should take a realistic approach to this nascent market, emphasizing the potential for consumers to save money on their electric bills.”

Energy-focused HANs fall into two main categories: in-home displays, which can show meter-based consumption data, time-of-use pricing signals and billing information; and networked home energy management (HEM) systems, which combine the HAN with hardware that has auto-pricing response capabilities, demand response load control and home automation controls. In-home displays will generate greater revenue than networked HEM, according to the report, because of lower prices and larger volumes.



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