According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the number of North American and European homes with a smart thermostat grew by 81 percent to 5.8 million in 2015.
The North American market recorded a 78 percent growth in the installed base of smart thermostats to 4.5 million. In Europe, the total number of homes with a smart thermostat grew by 90 percent year-on-year to reach 1.4 million. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of homes with smart thermostats in Europe and North America will grow at a CAGR of 54.5 percent during the next five years to reach 51.1 million in 2020. North America will remain the largest market at the end of the forecast period with 32.2 million homes that have smart thermostats, whereas the installed base in Europe is expected to reach 18.9 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. 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 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 new opportunities for HVAC service providers. Predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics can allow repair and maintenance activities to be streamlined and done more efficiently.
The North American smart thermostat market is led by Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee that each has sold more than a million thermostats, primarily through the retail, utility and professional installer channels. These companies are 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. Other contenders on 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 0.32 million homes. At the end of 2015, the Centrica owned utility British Gas had approximately 0.3 million smart thermostat users in the UK. Centrica also has 0.2 million smart thermostat users in North America through its Direct Energy operations. Another successful initiative by an energy company is the smart thermostat solution offered by Eneco in the Netherlands which has signed up around 0.15 million users for its Toon solution. Additional participants in the European smart thermostat market include Climote, Danfoss, Heatapp, Heat Genius, Netatmo, Ngenic, RWE and Tado.