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Alliances Preview Smart-Energy HAN Standard

The ZigBee and HomePlug Powerline Alliances have announced public availability of the next-generation market requirements for Smart Energy together with supporting use cases. Smart Energy enables wired and wireless communications between utility companies and everyday household devices, such as smart thermostats and appliances. The market-requirements document includes details about the next generation of functionality envisioned for the Smart Grid with accompanying consumer control. It also offers insight into a variety of use cases including plug-in electric-vehicle (PEV) charging, installation, configuration, firmware download for home-area-network (HAN) devices, and common information and application profile interfaces for wired and wireless HANs.

The Smart Energy market-requirements document is available for review. It was developed by ZigBee Alliance members, HomePlug Powerline Alliance members, utilities, regulators, suppliers, and technology providers as a foundation for an enhanced ZigBee Smart Energy profile. On May 18, the ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy profile was selected by the US Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices and communications and information model.

Chartwell's "Smart Metering Technology" report found that "...40 percent of electric utilities prefer ZigBee compared to other inpremise standards." To date, ZigBee Smart Energy has been selected by leading utilities to reach approximately 40-million homes and businesses across North America in the next few years as part of ongoing Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Infrastructure deployments. ZigBee Smart Energy has also been selected as the HAN technology standard by utilities and regulatory agencies in the European Union, Australia, and Asia.

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