The market for residential energy management will increase significantly over the next four years due to increased consumer demand and new government and industry initiatives. The number of U.S. households with a smart meter will grow to more than 6 million by 2012, according to Parks Associates.

The international research firm recently announced its new research project, Residential Energy Management: Opportunities for Digital Systems and Services, which analyzes this market, current and future deployments, and consumer preferences.

“Over 1 million smart meters have been deployed in the U.S.,” said Bill Ablondi, director, home systems research, Parks Associates. “Utilities see the benefit of upgrading the grid, and consumers are growing more conscious of their energy consumption. Add in incentives from the government, and you have three strong drivers that will boost deployment and innovation in this market.”

Parks Associates reports that more than one-half of U.S. households take steps to conserve energy. The impact of this consumer behavior has broad implications for multiple players. Already, a strong majority of U.S. builders recognize energy-efficient amenities as the most positive influencers in selling a home.

“The Obama administration has made the development of energy-efficient technologies and alternative fuels a priority,” Ablondi said. “There will be opportunities for manufacturers in smart appliances, utilities investing in smart grid technologies, and start-ups developing innovative energy solutions.”

The Project features multiple components, including an online survey of 1,500 U.S. households, company and government profiles, forecasts, and a report on international activities in energy management.

For more information on the research, visit www.parksassociates.com.