According to the Consortium, the joint certification and test program “will be used to certify wireless and wired devices that support IP-based smart energy applications and end-user devices such as thermostats, appliances and gateways. It will address devices operating on one or more of a variety of underlying connectivity technologies and provide the smart energy ecosystem – including utilities, product vendors and consumers – assurances of application and device interoperability.”
In 2009, SEP 2 was selected by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a standard profile for smart energy management in home devices because it is suitable for operation on a variety of IP-based technologies. This new alliance establishes a “communications technology-agnostic forum to unify and accelerate the realization of interoperable SEP 2 products through a joint test and certification program.”
The consortium intends to utilize the processes and best practices recommended by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) for smart grid testing and certification programs.
Rob Ranck, president of HomePlug Alliance, notes, “As the hybrid wireless and wired home of the future takes shape, the need for easy interoperability becomes key. We are excited to bring HomePlug Alliance’s strong expertise to this collaboration and help provide a robust certification program.”
Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa explains, “The smart grid will be comprised of all types of devices connecting in many different ways, and we must ensure those devices interoperate and communicate seamlessly, regardless of how they connect. This collaboration represents a groundbreaking step in the industry. Through this collaboration, the smart grid ecosystem will benefit from interoperable smart energy products that use some of today’s most popular connectivity technologies.”
Matt Theall, president of HomeGrid Forum, believes “SEP 2 will be an important factor in ensuring that wired and wireless technologies combine together to deliver Smart Grid and other services inside and outside the home and we are committed to using our expertise to help drive industry adoption.”
ZigBee Alliance chairman Bob Heile says his company “is committed to ensuring that the years of work invested by a broad stakeholder community in developing it translates into success in the marketplace. The ZigBee Alliance is pleased to contribute its considerable experience and expertise certifying Smart Energy products today to this new independent certification and testing consortium to ensure that consumers get smart products that are easy to use, independent of communications technology.”