Energy-focused apps being offered by utilities and other vendors have the potential to save customers an average of 8% on their energy bills.
A new report by Navigant Research investigating the residential energy app market found that residential customers are more and more turning to energy-focused apps to make better use of their household energy usage. Apps provided by utilities, as well as vendors for energy-related hardware such as Nest, ecobee, Honeywell, and others, are all contributing to a rise in energy use awareness, which Navigant believes has saved users of such apps an average of 6% to 8% on their energy bills.
“Customers are using apps via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs, for more and more of their daily needs,” said Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Energy services companies in the 21st century need to stay in tune with them by providing appropriate apps and developing an adaptable and long-term strategy, helping customers to more efficiently monitor and manage their energy consumption.”
Utilities providing apps are a rare breed — Navigant highlighted only a few, including DTE Energy, Direct Energy, and Infinite Energy — though these few examples represent a relatively positive customer experience. The market for energy apps will continue to grow, thanks in particular to the growth of energy-related devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and WiFi-enabled lightbulbs.
Relative Share of Downloads among Top Energy App Providers (Android)
Nest has made much of its ability to help you save money by using its Thermostat and accompanying app. In February of this year, Nest released figures showing that its flagship device, the Nest Learning Thermostat, had saved US customers approximately 10% to 12% on their heating bills, and about 15% on their cooling bills — equating to average annual savings of between $131 and $145.
Nest even has two specific services designed to save you money — Rush Hour Rewards and Seasonal Savings — and in July of 2014, the company revealed that the first test of their Rush Hour Rewards service had cut air conditioning run-time during the hottest part of the day by approximately 56% — which lead to obvious savings.
Importantly, these apps are only going to continue growing in popularity and number, and as Navigant notes, “Savvy utilities need an app strategy to meet these expectations.”