Netgear's CEO, Patrick Lo, has described home automation as the "mother of all applications".
The company has faced intense competition from a variety of branded and unbranded home networking products in recent years and has responded by shifting towards the business networking category.
Lo's comments, however, give an indication that the company may be planning a renewed focus on consumer networking.
Speaking in an interview with the US PC Magazine following the launch of the new ReadyNAS Ultra, Lo expressed a desire to move towards home security application such as smarter IP cameras which are better able to detect an actual intruder.
However it was "energy control" which he attributed directly to the "mother of all applications", saying that that thermostats, fridges and light controls could be optimally controlled via a network and that ultimately it wouldn't just be the home user to play for such devices but that government might also pay.
Lo also slapped down the company chips on wi-fi, saying that it would be this standard that would dominate and not competing low-power networking standards.