Revenues from the sale of smart thermostats are set to grow from $86 million in 2013 to nearly $1.4 billion in 2020, according to a new study from Navigant Research.
Smart thermostats allow users greater control over energy usage, and have attracted considerable interest since the recent announcement that Google (Mountain View, CA, USA) would acquire smart thermostat maker Nest Labs (Palo Alto, CA, USA) for a fee of $3.2 billion.
“Large retailers, including Lowe’s and The Home Depot in the United States and B&Q in Europe, have begun selling smart thermostats, signaling that sales of these devices could grow in coming years,” says Bob Lockhart, research director with Navigant Research.
“It remains to be seen, though, whether marketing efforts on behalf of these retailers will raise the interest of a large pool of customers who are not already planning to replace an existing thermostat.”
Moreover, says Navigant Research, utilities remain cautious about investing in programs and tools that provide incentives for consumers to regulate energy usage, while vendors have struggled to produce “user-friendly solutions” persuading consumers other than the most energy-conscious that major cost savings are possible.
Nevertheless, with growth in energy awareness and rising interest in home automation and security tools, there has been a recent uptick in shipments of smart thermostats, prompting Navigant Research to make its bullish forecast.
Indeed, the company says recent performance has “revived a sense of optimism and excitement on behalf of vendors and stakeholders”.