Energy Insights Finds Consumer Interest Spiking for In-Home Energy Displays

FRAMINGHAM, MA – March 31, 2008 – With home energy costs and environmental awareness both soaring, consumer interest in in-home energy displays has reached new heights, according to a recent survey by Energy Insights, an IDC company. The survey results are part of a series of reports designed to help energy and utility companies understand customer demand for in-home display units and evaluate the various products on the market.

The Energy Insights report, Energy Use Data at Your Fingertips: Customer Reaction to In-Home Display Units (Doc #EI210074), analyzes consumer interest in in-home display units and provides insight into the types of information consumers find most valuable. It also analyzes the role this type of information plays in promoting energy conservation and utility program participation.

“Customers are enormously interested in this new technology,” stated Rick Nicholson, vice president of Energy Insights. “Our survey data reveals that sixty-nine percent of respondents rated their interest in having an in-home display an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale.”

In-home display units provide real-time energy use information to customers and in doing so promote energy conservation. “In-home display devices on the market today are now moving from a utility-centric model, helping the utility control and achieve better demand response during peak events, to a customer-centric model, allowing the customer to respond at the level of energy use they are comfortable with. Having both options available enables utilities and consumers to deal with climate change concerns in a positive way,” Mr. Nicholson explained.

The other reports, In-Home Display Units: An Evolving Market, Parts 1 and 2 (Docs #EI211079 and #EI211426), examine in-home energy display products that are currently available or soon to enter commercialization, including a new generation of devices that incorporate the capability to communicate with smart meters and/or home area networks to provide dynamic rate information, appliance control, and other advanced features. The reports review specific manufacturers and models of in-home display units.

Among the key recommendations for energy and utility companies presented in this study series are the following:

* Consider a pilot installation of an in-home display to test response and effective marketing strategies for your customer base.

* Incorporate in-home displays into an existing or planned energy conservation or dynamic pricing program. Feedback is most useful when it is tied to a specific goal.

* Before selecting an in-home display product, consider how it will be used and which features will be most important to both customers and the utility.

* If you are invested in offering energy information only on the Internet, realize the hurdles that need to be overcome. Consider offering some type of remote automation control to increase the value of a Web-based device to customers.

As part of its Load Analysis Strategies service, Energy Insights will publish an additional report in September on the energy impact of in-home display units. This report will review industry research around the conservation effect often seen with the implementation of in-home displays, and it will discuss what features of the devices or other factors drive that effect.

About Energy Insights, an IDC Company

Energy Insights, an IDC company, provides research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and technology developments in the electricity, natural gas, and oil industries. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of direct industry experience, Energy Insights' research spans the energy value chain — upstream, wholesale, delivery, and customer service — providing independent, timely, and relevant analysis focused on key business issues. Energy Insights serves a diverse and growing global client base, including electric and gas utilities, IT vendors, independent power producers, retail energy providers, oil and gas companies, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, financial institutions, and professional services firms. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more, please visit