The ZigBee Alliance has completed development of the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile, a global open standard for implementing secure, easy-to-use wireless home area networks for managing energy. Besides allowing utility companies to set up energy-management networks, the profile sets up standards for manufacturers to create interoperable products to improve energy efficiency. ZigBee Smart Energy offers electric, gas, and water utilities support for advanced metering, demand response, load control, pricing, and customer messaging programs. It provides communication and control for devices like in-home displays, programmable communicating thermostats, water heaters, lighting, smart appliances, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as energy service portals and energy management systems. "ZigBee Smart Energy provides a critical piece to many energy management and efficiency programs underway today because it creates a global, open standard allowing energy consumers information and control over their energy use," Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, said in a statement. "And it helps utility companies expand relations with their customers while planning for a greener future."