Skip to main content

How can utilities break into the home automation device market?

The global Smart Home Energy Management Device Market is budding. According to Market Research Future, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 18% during the forecast period of 2017-2023. Utilities that want in and are taking advantage of partnership opportunities.

Fueling this growth is:

  • Considerable growth in the smart home device market at large, with a focus on voice assistants;
  • Mounting interest in real-time energy conservation;
  • Accessibility of affordable solutions enabled by cloud computing;
  • Data analytics, including access to real-time, actionable insights about energy usage; and
  • Technology that enables the interconnectivity of multiple devices.

The size of this opportunity makes the sales of energy management devices a viable revenue stream for utility companies facing declining revenue among core services. When utilities become an integral part of the home energy management experience, they have a lot to gain. Along with the revenue benefits mentioned above, gathering actionable business insights through data collection and analysis that lead to customer engagement and satisfaction improvements are more and more compelling.

Since utility companies aren’t currently top of mind for device shoppers, breaking into this market is challenging. Nevertheless, many are getting their foot in the door through partnerships. However, the explosion of companies in this space can make it difficult to know where to start.

Fortunately, utilities such as Excel Energy, Georgia Power, Tucson Electric Power, and Indianapolis Power & Light are leading the way.

Xcel Energy & Google

Xcel Energy and Google are partnering to deliver tools customers can use to manage their energy usage and save money on their utility bill. Using the Google Assistant, the utility is offering a voice assistant with tips for improving energy efficiency in their homes.

Georgia Power & PulteGroup

Georgia Power and PulteGroup partnered to develop the first Smart Neighborhood in Atlanta. Each technology-enhanced home will be served by Georgia Power with power supplemented by individual rooftop solar installations and in-home battery energy storage. Homes also will be equipped with the latest energy technologies such as optimal insulation for maximum efficiency, advanced heating and cooling systems and LED lighting. They will feature home automation, including smart thermostats, smart locks and voice control. This partnership demonstrates how energy companies can collaborate with homebuilders and retail partners to better serve customers.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Arizona’s Governor’s Office of Energy Policy & Tendril 

TEP and Arizona’s Governor’s Office of Energy Policy are partnering with Tendril to demonstrate how secure access to personal energy consumption data can result in energy efficiency savings. Using Tendril Energize, TEP will offer web and mobile dashboards to show its customers how and where energy is being used, as well as provide personalized energy efficiency suggestions, goal setting, and performance tracking tools.

Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) Company & Simple Energy

Through a partnership between IPL, a subsidiary of AES and Simple Energy, IPL’s customers are using the Simple Energy Marketplace, an e-commerce platform. It gives them access to energy-wise products, home services, program enrollments, innovative rates, and accessible financing options – from a single online portal.


When talking about Microsoft, the great Bill Gates once said, “Our success has really been based on partnerships from the beginning”. Utilities entering the smart home energy management world have their work cut out for them, but utilities adopting Gate’s strategy are finding it easier to get their foot in the door.


Vanessa Edmonds is an experienced go-to-market advisor who helps clients build brands and win new business through an integrated approach to business strategy, marketing and sales-enablement. A key driver of her success is her knowledge of technology and innovative concepts. She has an innate and ability to define the value proposition of technical products and services and reach non-technical business audiences with the right messages in their time of need. Vanessa’s utility industry expertise spans twelve years. She has been published by several organizations including the BBC, Electric Power Research Institute, CIO Review and the Utility Analytics Institute.