Revenues falling for home systems installers

DALLAS, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of U.S. home systems integrators, who have had average revenues fall almost 17% since 2007, are expecting revenues to continue to fall through 2009, according to Parks Associates' Channel and Consumer Monitor.

The international research firm conducts quarterly surveys of the home systems channel, including online surveys of integrators installing control, entertainment, and energy management systems. The most recent report, based on a second-quarter 2009 survey conducted as a joint effort from Parks Associates and CEDIA, found the channel is making adjustments to compensate for declines in new-home construction and consumer spending.

"Integrators are feeling the effects of the recession, and they don't expect their new-home business to improve in the near future," said Bill Ablondi, director, home systems research, Parks Associates. "They are adjusting their businesses by concentrating more on preexisting homes, retrofit, and lower-cost solutions."

Channel and Consumer Monitor reports that integrators, who have traditionally installed expensive control and entertainment systems in new homes, now get the majority of their revenues from retrofit jobs, which represents a major shift in this business sector.

The survey also found awareness of Smart Grid terms and technologies, such as smart meter and AMI, was low among installers, although almost one-third of integrators have installed some type of energy-monitoring system in the last year.

"One potential area of growth is in energy management, where integrators could serve an important role linking consumers to utilities," Ablondi said. "The energy industry should reach out to integrators to increase their knowledge of Smart Grid technologies."