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As I mentioned in a recently-published Insight, 2011 saw a spate of well-documented forays into the home automation/home energy markets by service providers such as telcos, cable operators, security companies and more recently, utilities. However, today’s news that US home improvement giant, Lowe’s, will sell home automation kits from UK-based SaaS provider, AlertMe, shows that retailers are increasingly looking to enter this emerging marketplace.

Back in in September of last year, Best Buy launched home energy zones in three of its stores to demonstrate a home energy management technology from GE. The company also sells the Nest Learning Thermostat, which made the headlines the following month. However, the media frenzy that followed the officiallaunch has already whipped up considerable consumer interest causing the device to sell out.