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Friday, May 20, 2016

Data and Communications Standards are Accelerating Home Energy Management Adoption

Interoperability has become a topic with renewed interest as application layer standards enter the mix. New network layer protocols are competing for a slice of the Internet of Things market.In the energy space, different groups have worked on a method to communicate demand response event data and energy pricing, as well as data that enables participation in energy markets.

At Smart Energy Summit, the session “Interoperability, Integration, and Energy Management” discussed data and communications standards and their role in accelerating home energy management adoption. Speakers included:

  • Barry Haaser, President, Managing Director, OpenADR Alliance; CEO, Lakeview Group
  • Dave Hurst, Director, Market Analysis, NextEnergy
  • Art Lancaster, CTO, Affinegy
  • Bill Scheffler, Director of NA Sales and Business Development, Sigma Designs/Z-Wave
  • Mark Walters, V.P Strategic Development, ZigBee Alliance

The top 5 takeaways from the session included: 

  1. White goods products are large energy users. Many makers don’t want to embed proprietary controls, preferring an interoperable framework that allows for differentiation.
  2. It’s still early to focus on consolidation when products are just now becoming energy aware. This is setting the stage for more applications but patience is warranted. Interoperability takes a lot longer and is a lot harder than most people understand. Fragmentation is still likely for the next five years.
  3. Fog computing, or designing for local cloud interoperability, will provide solutions using machine to machine communication that will solve many interoperability problems in the home.
  4. There is a shift in thinking among utilities. They are realizing they don’t have to own all the energy products, they just have to touch the products with data. The consumer wants to control the device and react to the data, whether it is a time-of-use or demand response program. Customer empowerment changes the whole model. Utilities should do what they do best but not make a grab for control.
  5. Proprietary protocols are the biggest challenge to connecting with utilities. Standardized protocols are necessary and achievable because demand response programs are not all that unique.

For more information about Smart Energy Summit, or to download the Event Summary, Click Here.

Next: Energy Providers Could Dominate the Smart Home and Energy Management Market
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