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Smart Home Controls 2013 - Rest of Europe

  • October 2013
  • -
  • BSRIA Worldwide Market Intelligence
  • -
  • 118 pages


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Smart home market – In 2012, the total smart home product market in Europe was worth € 511.9 million at manufacturer selling prices (msp). Together with the system integration and installation labour, the total market was worth € 707.1 million. The smart home product market grew by 18.7% in period 2010-2012.

The current smart home market still remains a niche high-end market, with penetration in light commercial applications growing since 2010. Residential consumer awareness has been increasing across Europe, not least due to the widening popularity of smart phones/tablets and their role as possible user interfaces (via apps) in smart home solutions. Nevertheless, in these austere times in Europe the high cost of the smart home solution prevents these solutions from reaching the mass market. Germany is the largest smart home market in Europe, followed by France, the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and Netherlands.

Comfort and convenience remain the key demand side drivers. Lighting controls are the main application. Environmental controls became the second largest application in Europe, as customers have been increasingly worried about their energy bills and to prevent wasting energy. Assisted living home is an important market in the Netherlands with the financial support from the Government.

The smart home market is still highly concentrated in the high-end housing segment. Luxury villas and luxury apartments share 74% of the housing sector. The share in zero/low energy home is still very small as environmental controls are not a market driver in this sector. KNX is dominating the market. The remaining are proprietary and other wireless protocol such as Z-Wave, EnOcean. ZigBee has more presence in the HEMS market.

The smart home product market is dominated by German players, with around 68% share. American companies are only present in the very expensive solution segment. French companies are still focusing on France. In Spain, there are several small manufacturers developing their own system and are looking to export due to the domestic economic climate. There are some Italian based companies which are quite active outside Italy (Gewiss, Carlo Gavazzi). To enable the smart home market to reach the mass market, the industry need to lower the cost by providing simpler and standardized solution. There is also a need more skilled installers to support for wired solutions. The uptake of wireless applications can open up some previously untapped sectors.

Home Energy Management System (HEMS) - Compared to the development in North America, the HEMS market in Europe has a much larger market size, thanks to all the pilot projects. The European HEMS market is valued at € 36.6 million in 2012, up from €21.9 million in 2010. HEMS in Germany is still mainly an enthusiast’s market mainly choosing DIY products, which do not accrue any installation cost. Reasons for the slow uptake in Europe’s biggest potential market is the new legislation for Germany’s energy transition including new rules for smart metering, the BIS security profile and competing communication standards.

There are many activities in the UK, which address directly to the consumers, although the postponement of smart meter installation does not boost confidence in the programme. In France, until the end of 2012, no incentives or drivers have helped the market to take off. In the next two years however, this market is expected to take off, as the current thermal regulation RT2012 imposes the monitoring of energy use in dwellings. HEMS is still very low profile elsewhere in Europe. Energy suppliers play an important role in this market. Unfortunately, their strategy and direction on the HEMS market are still unclear. At the moment, they are still running test on the products and looking for a proper financial model of the business.

The market also needs to wait for a few more years until the roll out of smart metering is on track. There are several new HEMS products developed by small-scale start-up companies. Their main strategy is to partner with energy suppliers to supply HEMS products (such as AlertMe with British Gas in the UK). Many of these companies developed their products based on ZigBee technology. The forecast of the HEMS market is positive. The market is expected to reach €82.3 million in 2015.

Intelligent Residential Environmental Controls – The product market is valued at € 100.2 million in 2012. It includes intelligent thermostats, automatic radiator valves, sensors, and electric heating control systems (the latter are also know as energy managers). The market for gas heating controls is heavily dominated by DIY products and this is a large segment in Germany. A large amount of products are sold to consumers via retail and online channel directly. Also, there is a considerable potential for such products in some Eastern European markets (i.e.Poland), where individual gas heating has been an alternative to district heating for a few decades.

Electric heating control systems are mainly used in countries with high penetration of electric heating systems (France, Norway), although they are expected to face hard times as a result of tightening energy efficiency legislation for new build in the largest market, France.

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