Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart thermostat market in North America and Europe doubled in 2014, says Berg report

Steve Rogerson
January 14, 2015
 
The number of North American and European homes with a smart thermostat grew by 105 per cent to 3.2 million in 2014, according to research from Berg Insight. The North American market recorded a 107 per cent growth in the installed base of smart thermostats to 2.5 million. In Europe, the total number of homes with a smart thermostat grew by 96 per cent year on year to reach 0.7 million.
 
The report predicts that the number of homes with smart thermostats in Europe and North America will grow at a CAGR of 64.2 per cent during the next five years to reach 38.2 million by 2019. North America will remain the largest market at the end of the forecast period with 24.6 million homes that have smart thermostats, whereas the installed base in Europe is expected to reach 13.6 million homes.
 
Smart thermostats are a particularly attractive opportunity in the smart home market, as these systems are of interest for consumers, energy companies and HVAC service providers. Consumers embrace smart thermostats primarily due to the potential for energy savings, increased comfort and convenience. For energy companies, smart thermostats open up possibilities to introduce consumer-friendly demand response and energy efficiency programmes.
 
These programmes 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 opportunities for HVAC service providers. Predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics can allow repair and maintenance activities to be streamlined and conducted more efficiently.
 
The North American smart thermostat market is led by Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee, with each selling hundreds of thousands of thermostats primarily through the retail, utility and professional installer channels. These companies are joined by vendors such as Radio Thermostat and RCS that have gained traction especially in the whole-home system channel through partners such as ADT, Vivint and Alarm.com.
 
Other contenders on the North American market include Emerson, Lennox, Quirky, Trane and Venstar.
 
In Europe, the leading smart thermostat vendor is eQ-3, whose smartphone-controlled radiator thermostats have been installed in more than 0.3 million homes. Other successful initiatives include the smart thermostats offered by the energy companies British Gas in the UK and Eneco in the Netherlands. British Gas’ Hive had approximately 0.14 million users at the end of 2014, whereas Eneco had signed up around 0.1 million users for the Toon. Other participants in the European smart thermostat market include Climote, Danfoss, Heatapp, Heat Genius, Honeywell, Ngenic, Nest, RWE and Tado.