North American alliances join together for certification program for SEP 2
August 11, 2011 - The HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, HomeGrid Forum and ZigBee Alliance have announced plans to create a Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability, which they claim will enable organizations whose technologies support communications over Internet Protocol (IP) to certify SEP 2 according to a consistent test plan.
By Alyssa Dalton
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, they said. “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,” they explained.
SEP 2 was selected in 2009 by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a standard profile for smart energy management in home devices, where the profile is suitable for operation on a variety of IP-based technologies. According to the alliances, the consortium establishes a communications technology-agnostic forum to unify and accelerate the realization of interoperable SEP 2 products through a joint test and certification program, where it intends to utilize the processes and best practices recommended by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) for smart grid testing and certification programs.
“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,” said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “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.”
“HomeGrid Forum, which is responsible for certifying and promoting G.hn technology, is excited to be working with other leading industry organizations to help accelerate the adoption of the Smart Grid throughout the world,” continued Matt Theall, president of HomeGrid Forum. “We believe 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.”
“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,” added Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance.
The Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability invites participation from other trade associations in communications technology that have an interest in developing an interoperable smart grid.