Intelligent Efficiency Technology and Market Assessment


ACEEE explores the benefits of intelligent efficiency in a new report. Intelligent efficiency is a term they use to describe the gains in energy efficiency enabled by the new responsive, adaptive, and predictive capabilities of information and communications technologies (ICT). Two questions the report tries to answer are: 1) Just how is intelligent efficiency being used to save energy? and 2) To what extent is it being applied?

In the report, ACEEE surveyed more than two dozen applications of intelligent efficiency across four end-use sectors. A summary of findings from the report is below.


  • Annual investments in commercial buildings are forecasted to triple by 2024.
  • Building energy management system software products have increased from $0.7 billion in 2011 to $1.07 billion in 2015.
  • 5% of homes currently have some type of Home Energy Management systems, forecasters predict the number will rise to 19% by 2021.

Government and Smart Cities

  • The greatest use of intelligent efficiency in the public sector is at the local level.
  • The market for smart city solutions is accelerating. Sales for Internet of Things (IoT) devices are predicted to triple between 2015 and 2020, and software sales are expected to double in the same time period.


  • The transportation sector started investing in intelligent efficiency earlier than many other sectors and is therefore further along the adoption curve.
  • Availability of instant information on the arrival times of trains, location of traffic jams, and location and availability of shared vehicles is saving people time, reducing fuel consumption and associated pollution from vehicles.

Enabling Technologies

  • Sensors that can connect to local Wi-Fi networks and devices that can connect to the Internet to become part of the IoT are all enabling technologies.
  • Adoption of IoT is increasing in all sectors of the economy
  • In 2015, there were about 10 billion connected devices globally; forecasters predict that there will be 26–50 billion by 2020 and 100 billion by 2030

Energy Efficiency Programs

  • Many new programs are being built around smart thermostats.
  • Navigant Research estimated that about 50,000 residential customers were engaged in some type of bring-your-own-thermostat (BYOT) residential energy management program in 2016, and similar programs could reach up to 20 million customers by 2024.

Click here to read the full report from ACEEE

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