Smart-grid group seeks technologies that ‘play nice’ together

A new industry group aims to make sure all new “smart” devices and applications meet standards that will let them easily work with one another.

An agreement formally establishing the Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability has now been signed by the HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance and ZigBee Alliance. The consortium’s goal is to ensure that utilities, product vendors and consumers alike all have confidence in the workability of the evolving “smart-grid ecosystem.”

The agreement spells out how the consortium will operate as it works to develop an interoperability testing suite. Among the devices the consortium plans to test for interoperability certification are thermostats, appliances, electric meters, gateways, electric vehicles and other smart-grid technologies.

SEP 2, which stands for “Smart Energy Profile 2,” is an internet protocol (IP)-based application chosen as the standard for home-energy management devices. The standard was adopted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2009.

The consortium aims to “ensure that SEP 2 delivers a positive experience that helps consumers make smart choices about their energy use,” said vice chairman Bob Heile.


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