EIS Alliance Turns Attention to Residential Energy Management

MORGAN HILL, Calif., Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Energy Information Standards (EIS) Alliance, created to develop a common framework for customer equipment to use, generate, and communicate energy data, has begun work on the problem of interoperability between different manufacturers' Home Energy Management products, and between those products and the Smart Grid.

Coming out of meetings last October in Atlanta, and follow-up discussions in January, key industry stakeholders identified two significant gaps in the home energy management marketplace; lack of common communications between consumer products, and lack of common communication between those devices and the grid. The EIS Alliance is working with Appliance and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) manufacturers, Home Entertainment and Home Automation companies, Retailers, Utilities, service providers and consumer groups on two parallel projects to resolve these issues.

"EPA is following this work with great interest. EIS Alliance has identified two critical gaps in moving interoperable, effective energy information and control capabilities into homes. Interoperability is key to the consumer value of connected products. These projects build on work previously done as part of the SGIP, and compliment related work other groups are doing concurrently," said Abigail Daken, Product Manager, ENERGY STAR Heating and Cooling.

Different manufacturers and groups have developed different ways of signaling equipment energy use, resources and availability. In addition, companies are often concerned about sharing detailed information about their products with devices from other manufacturers or with outside service providers. These different expressions of what are fundamentally common ideas, along with concerns about sharing details, limits the ability of these systems to work together.

"The development of a common expression of fundamental, or abstract, information, for Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) is crucial for manufacturers and service providers to develop systems that allow for different appliances, HVAC, lighting, entertainment and other home systems to work together. This is true not only for equipment entering the marketplace now, but for products still on the proverbial 'drawing board'," said Chris Kotting, executive director of the EIS Alliance. "These systems may each use different ways of expressing information internally, and having a common expression all can refer to will allow them to communicate needed data, and only needed data, for intelligent coordination."

The parallel project is the development of a similar abstract expression between customer owned systems and those of utilities and other service providers, often called an Energy Services Interface, or ESI. This will allow different systems and architectures to operate inside and outside the home, but still allow for needed communication and coordination.

"Our intention with both these projects is to use published data models coming out of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as a foundation for developing an abstraction that allows for needed communication, while protecting different manufacturers' design integrity," said Kotting "Of course, other contributions to the project are welcome."

About the EIS Alliance

The EIS Alliance is a nonprofit corporation formed to ensure Customer Energy Management Systems (CEMS) interoperability, while providing increased customer energy efficiency, and improved reliability with state-of-the-art security for the Smart Grid. The EIS Alliance is fostering the adoption, development, and compliance of global CEMS standards through collaboration, education, and marketing, while facilitating standards compliance through testing and certification programs. Members of the EIS Alliance include A.O. Smith, Aruba Networks, Coulomb Technologies, Ecotality, Generac, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, and ParkPod. More information about the EIS Alliance can be found at www.eisalliance.org.

CONTACT: Chris Kotting EIS Alliance 614-657-6483 ckotting@eisalliance.org Barry Haaser Lakeview Group 408-778-8370 bhaaser@eisalliance.orgSource:EIS Alliance