PORTLAND, Ore. and AUSTIN, Texas and BEAVERTON, Ore. and SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, HomeGrid Forum and ZigBee Alliance have agreed to create a Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability. The new consortium will enable organizations whose technologies support communications over Internet Protocol (IP) to certify SEP 2 according to a consistent test plan. Recognizing that the vision of interoperable SEP 2 devices across the network will only be realized with consistent certification and interoperability testing, the Consortium is being structured as an open organization. This cooperation among alliances builds on the work of many industries to bring smart grid benefits to consumers.
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. 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.
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. The profile is suitable for operation on a variety of IP-based technologies. This 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. The consortium intends to utilize the processes and best practices recommended by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) for smart grid testing and certification programs.
"As the hybrid wireless and wired home of the future takes shape, the need for easy interoperability becomes key," said Rob Ranck, president of HomePlug Alliance. "We are excited to bring HomePlug Alliance's strong expertise to this collaboration and help provide a robust certification program."
"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," said 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."
"As the organization that initiated the home Smart Energy standards activity, the ZigBee Alliance is committed to ensuring that the years of work invested by a broad stakeholder community in developing it translates into success in the marketplace," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "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."
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.
About HomePlug Powerline Alliance
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc is the leading industry-led initiative for powerline networking, creating specifications, marketing and certification programs to accelerate worldwide adoption of powerline networking. With HomePlug technology, the electrical wires in the home can now distribute broadband Internet, HD video, digital music and smart energy applications.
The Alliance works with key stakeholders to ensure HomePlug specifications are designed to meet the requirements of IPTV service providers, power utilities, equipment and appliance manufacturers, consumer electronics and other constituents. The HomePlug Certified Logo program is the powerline networking industry's largest Compliance and Interoperability Certification Program and the program has certified over 240 devices. For more information, visit www.homeplug.org.
About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to seamless connectivity. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide.
The Wi-Fi Alliance launched the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program in March 2000. It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products deliver the best user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 10,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets. For more information, visit www.wi-fi.org.
About HomeGrid Forum
HomeGrid Forum is a global, non-profit trade group promoting the International Telecommunication Union's G.hn and G.hnem standardization efforts for next-generation home networking and SmartGrid Applications. HomeGrid Forum promotes adoption of G.hn and G.hnem through technical and marketing efforts, addresses certification and interoperability of G.hn and G.hnem-compliant products, and cooperates with complementary industry alliances. For more information on HomeGrid Forum, please visit www.homegridforum.org or follow us on http://twitter.com/homegrid_forum.
About the ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee offers green and global wireless standards connecting the widest range of devices to work together intelligently and help you control your world. The ZigBee Alliance is an open, nonprofit association of approximately 400 organizations driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The Alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas. For more information, visit www.zigbee.org.