The Zigbee Alliance has opened certification for its updated Smart Energy 1.4 application standard. The new Certification Program will address the functionality needs that arose from Great Britain’s decision to mandate all energy suppliers to offer smart meters to every home by 2020 (a total of 26 million potential installations).
According to a report from Smart Energy Great Britain, there is rising national public awareness of the benefits of smart meters, from increasing billing accuracy to contributing to communities’ overall environmental efforts. The report states that 80% of people with a smart meter have taken steps to reduce their energy use, and more than 68% say they feel more conscious about their energy use.
To address this growing public awareness, Great Britain needed an existing, well-developed solution that is adaptable and easy to implement on an enormous scale.
“Smart Energy by the Zigbee Alliance was the logical choice, with proven success from over 700 existing Smart Energy Certified products, along with a large network of suppliers to support a healthy market of products to choose from,” states the Alliance.
Technology certified through the Zigbee Alliance’s latest Smart Energy Certification Program will be able to take advantage of the benefits inherent in dual-band frequency capabilities. Enabling sub-GHz functionality enhances the performance of smart meters and energy management devices, allowing operation at farther distances and through more RF-challenging building materials. This addition to Smart Energy Certification also allows the Zigbee Alliance to accredit products with the ability to meet regional frequency requirements, extending connectivity options.
The benefits of introducing simultaneous operation on sub-GHz and 2.4 GHz bands into Certification for the Smart Energy 1.4 standard include intelligent energy management, smart energy metering, increased savings for utilities and consumers, competitive marketplace with multi-vendors, reduction of emissions footprint, low-energy housing and smart urban networks.
The First Certified Product for Smart Energy 1.4
Last month, the Zigbee Alliance celebrated its first product to complete the certification program and take on the benefits of the Smart Energy 1.4 standard — one of the Communications Hub solutions required for Great Britain’s smart metering program, developed by Alliance member EDMI, a smart energy solutions provider.
Some of the world’s leading utilities, energy service providers, product manufacturers and technology companies have deployed Zigbee Alliance Certified Smart Energy products, and are supporting its continued development as members of the Alliance. These include BC Hydro, EDMI, General Electric, Honeywell, Itron, Landis+Gyr, LG, Pacific Gas & Electric, Panasonic, Schneider Electric, Smart Meter Texas and Toshiba, to name a few. As a global, open standard, Smart Energy supports a competitive marketplace of multiple vendors, lowering costs and saving billions of dollars worldwide.
“Smart Energy delivers many benefits for its users,” said Victor Berrios, VP Technology for the Zigbee Alliance. “With Smart Energy Certified meters and consumption devices, our members empower utilities and consumers with the data necessary to make informed decisions about energy usage and help them meet worldwide energy challenges today and tomorrow.”
Smart Energy by the Zigbee Alliance is the world’s leading standard for interoperable products that monitor, control, inform, and automate the delivery and use of electricity, gas and water. Developed with the expertise of hundreds of industry technical and business leaders, the Smart Energy standard and Certification program ensures Smart Energy products will deliver robust wireless networking performance and interoperability.