The smart appliance market, as viewed by ABI Research, has "failed to take off as many had expected," but the research firm expects unit shipments to grow rapidly and the worldwide market to top 24 million units by 2017. Importantly, it also predicts that homes with utility-approved home energy management systems will grow from the 2011 estimate of 2.5 million households to a 2017 forecast of 36 million households.
The research firm sees a number of factors pointing toward growth of this market:
* smart meter market growth
* growing energy costs
* progress on Smart Grid interoperability
On the other hand, the firm believes a few more years will be needed before smart appliance prices come down enough to entice most consumers, and for Smart Grid energy pricing incentives to be offered on a wide scale. The firm also noted the large number of smart appliances launched recently by LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Electrolux, BSH, Miele, and others.
Craig Foster, senior analyst, home automation and M2M for the research firm, noted that there was an "almost unanimous perception" that the utility companies would drive the development of home energy management systems, but these companies have moved slower than expected.
to Daily News