Electronic Design

Power Companies Join Forces With ZigBee, HomePlug Alliances

A group of electrical utility companies is working with the ZigBee Alliance and the HomePlug Powerline Alliance to develop a common application layer integrated solution for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and home area networks (HAN). Using the capabilities of the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile as a baseline, the three groups will expand the application layer and enable it to run on HomePlug technology. This will allow utilities to choose either wireless or wired HAN industry standards when implementing AMI.

Last May, the ZigBee Alliance certified a number of interoperable ZigBee Smart Energy products from a dozen companies. Creating a unified solution using the leading open wireless and wired standards will expand the development and certification of devices such as thermostats, pool pumps, water heaters, and other high-energy-use devices ideally suited for connection to a HAN.

The utilities involved in the effort include American Electric Power, Consumers Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Reliant Energy, Sempra, and Southern California Edison. “This initiative will provide seamless application integration using ZigBee or HomePlug devices, providing the flexibility that utilities need when implementing AMI and smart metering programs,” said Paul De Martini, vice president at Southern California Edison. “Mainstream market adoption of a common technology accelerates our ability to empower our customers to manage their energy usage.”

ZigBee Alliance
www.zigbee.org

HomePlug Powerline Alliance
www.homeplug.org

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