Electronic Systems Contractors diversify their services with green and retrofit opportunities

Majority expect sales drop to continue through 2009, expanding business in retrofit and energy management to compensate

(PresseBox) ( Dallas, Texas, )
The majority of U.S. home systems integrators, who have had average revenues fall almost 17% since 2007, are making adjustments to compensate for declines in new-home construction and consumer spending by diving into the green and retrofit markets according to Parks Associates' Channel and Consumer Monitor and CEDIA.

Parks Associates, an international research firm, conducts quarterly surveys of the home systems channel, including online surveys of integrators installing home controls, entertainment systems, and energy management solutions. The most recent report, based on a second-quarter 2009 survey, was conducted as a joint effort from Parks Associates and the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA).

"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 to account for the down economy 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.

"With the proper education and training, CEDIA members can help their company remain strong in today's climate," said Utz Baldwin, CEDIA CEO. "CEDIA University and Technology Council are offering courses at EXPO in September specific to the retrofit and green markets allowing our members to capitalize on these opportunities immediately."

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.

"Almost all integrators are willing to make significant changes in their businesses to adapt to the economic realities of today," Ablondi said. "One potential area of significant growth is in energy management, where integrators could serve an important role linking consumers to utilities. The energy industry needs to reach out to integrators to increase their knowledge of Smart Grid technologies."

Results of the recent survey are only available to participants. A snapshot of key findings is available for media. For more information about Channel and Consumer Monitor, contact sales@parksassociates.com, 972-490-1113, or visit http://www.parksassociates.com.


CEDIA is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. The association was founded in September 1989 and has more than 3,500 member companies worldwide. CEDIA Members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this specialized field. For more information on CEDIA, visit the association's Web site at www.cedia.org.
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