Keynote Insights from Nest - Barriers vs Opportunities: The Impact Energy Providers Have on the Smart Home

by Parks Associates | Feb. 9, 2018

Before presenting his keynote at Parks Associates' Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer in Austin, Jamie Staples, Head of Retail Energy Partnerships at Nest Labs, answered several key questions on adoption of smart home products and the opportunities for energy providers within the industry:

What are the barriers to bringing together a broad ecosystem of smart home products that work together as an energy management system?

At this point, getting the smart products into the home. Smart thermostats, lightbulbs, hot water heaters, and other appliances can already work with each other to drive DR and efficiency in an open ecosystem (Nest can talk with Phillips Hues, Rheem, Hunter Douglas, etc). But when only 13% of U.S. households have smart thermostats and far fewer have wifi enabled hot water heaters, the broader application conversation becomes limited very quickly.

What are the biggest opportunities for the smart home industry to work with the utility industry?

Getting away from the screen and onto voice. Many indicators point to voice being the engagement platform of the future, and it's where energy providers will need to go too if they want to keep up with customer expectations.

How has the smart home created new service opportunities for energy providers?

The smart home industry has put GW of latent demand response capacity into homes via smart thermostats and other smart home appliances. It has also generated technology that provides the potential for new paradigms around bill pay and energy efficiency.

How will broad adoption of smart home products and services impact energy providers?

The broad adoption of smart home products should only help energy providers. The products opportunities to defer asset investments, to decrease cost to serve, and to make energy management cool.

How will energy providers expand the energy monitoring services market?

Energy providers can expand the energy monitoring services market by helping to seed the market with products that can be monitored. For example, one of the biggest barriers to smart home product adoption is the price point. Simply offering a rebate for or an energy bundle with these products helps boost product adoption and puts the energy provider in a position to reap the benefits of other value streams down the road.

Jamie will provide industry insights on expanding adoption during the pre-conference workshop: "The Role of Energy Providers in the Smart Home" on Monday, February 19 at 1:20 PM. He will also be presenting the opening keynote "Hey Google, What’s Next for Energy Providers? on Tuesday, February 20 at 9:45 AM. For more information on speakers, sponsors, or sessions, visit

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