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Nearly 8 million U.S. Households Have ‘Smart’ Thermostats

The number of North American and European homes with a smart thermostat grew by 67% to 10.1 million in 2016, according to Berg Insight, Gothenburg, Sweden, a market research company.

The North American market recorded a 64% growth in the installed base of smart thermostats to 7.8 million. In Europe, the total number of homes with a smart thermostat grew by 77% year-on-year to reach 2.3 million. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of homes with smart thermostats in Europe and North America will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 50% during the next five years to reach 78.1 million in 2021. North America will remain the largest market at the end of the forecast period with 43.4 million homes that have smart thermostats, whereas the installed base in Europe is expected to reach 34.7 million homes.

“Smart thermostats is a particularly attractive opportunity in the smart home market, as these systems are of great interest for consumers, energy companies and HVAC service providers” says Anders Frick, senior analyst, Berg Insight. Consumers embrace smart thermostats primarily due to the potential for energy savings, increased comfort, and convenience. For energy companies, smart thermostats open up new possibilities to introduce consumer-friendly demand response and energy efficiency programs. These programs can enable significant capital savings as lower peak load can reduce expenditures on reserve power generation and the need to purchase energy on the spot market. “Adding intelligence to residential heating and cooling systems furthermore opens up new opportunities for HVAC service providers. Predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics can allow repair and maintenance activities to be streamlined and done more efficiently,” adds Mr. Frick.

The North American smart thermostat market is led by Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee, joined by vendors such as Radio Thermostat Company of America and RCS that have gained traction especially in the whole-home system channel through partners such as ADT, Vivint and Alarm.com. Additional participants in the North American market include Emerson, Lennox, Trane and Venstar. In Europe, leading smart thermostat vendors include the European based eQ-3 and Centrica as well as the North American vendors Nest and Honeywell. eQ-3’s smartphone-controlled radiator thermostats have been installed in more than 350,000 homes. At the end of 2016, the Centrica owned utility British Gas had 550,000 smart thermostat users in the UK. Centrica also had around 400,000 smart thermostat users in North America through its Direct Energy operations. Other contenders on the European smart thermostat market include Climote, Danfoss, Heatapp, Heat Genius, Netatmo, Ngenic, RWE and Tado.

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