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10 home energy management trends for 2013

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By Louis Szablya

Energate VP of Marketing and Product Management

 

2013 is poised to be a breakthrough year for residential demand response (DR) and home energy management (HEM). Here are my predictions for what we might expect.

 

1. Base electricity prices will stay relatively low owing to natural gas prices remaining low, but gasoline prices will continue to be volatile throughout the year. The combination is likely to support ongoing interest in and sales of electric vehicles.

 

2. The U.S. economy will grow through 2013, and demand for electricity will grow with it. If the summer witnesses higher than normal temperatures, DR will become critically important. Maybe even a repeat of California’s extreme price volatility and record high electric spot market prices will occur despite the low cost of natural gas.

 

3. DR will improve its value proposition in the wholesale electric markets and will, therefore, compete more effectively with generation, and attract more interest from the investment community.

 

4. Residential DR with intelligent HEM systems will finally be recognized as an environmentally-friendly and effective way to put flexibility back into the power system by complimenting the increasing penetration of variable renewable resources and supporting distribution automation systems.

 

5. Mobile applications will continue to dominate computing trends and utilities will embrace mobile platforms as being integral to their customer relationship and residential DR programs.