EETimes has asked three questions to the three top executives at the HomePlug Alliance, the WiFi Alliance and the ZigBee Alliance to grasp their views about smart energy interoperability.
EETimes: What will the Wi-Fi Alliance bring to the CSEP in terms of specific competencies/experience/achievements?
Edgar Figueroa (shown): Because of the already huge base of Wi-Fi networks within homes and business, the incorporation of Wi-Fi into smart energy products will help to accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies by consumers and enterprises. The Wi-Fi Alliance certification, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, is the gold standard when it comes to delivering interoperability. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED programs have been ensuring that Wi-Fi devices work together worldwide for over ten years, with more than 15,000 product certifications - this experience is now being brought to CSEP and the whole smart energy market. Our experience with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED is terrific expertise that contributes to CSEP. In particular, the Wi-Fi Alliance's work within CSEP will ensure that Wi-Fi SEP2 products properly interoperate with each other and with other SEP2 devices.
EETimes: What are the immediate challenges that the CSEP will have to overcome?
Edgar Figueroa: CSEP's immediate goal is to ensure that all SEP2 devices interoperate, no matter whether the underlying communication technology is Wi-Fi or another IP communications technology. This is being addressed through the development of a common set of CSEP test materials that will be used by the participating CSEP alliances in their interoperability certifications. The Wi-Fi Alliance is planning to incorporate CSEP test materials into the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program.
EETimes: What are your short term and long-term expectations for the CSEP?
Edgar Figueroa: In the near term, we expect CSEP to focus on enabling the launch of SEP2 certifications across a range of IP communications technologies. It is anticipated that this will result in a rapidly growing smart energy market, opening future opportunities for new types of products and enhanced services.
Longer term, we can anticipate that CSEP will continue to work on ensuring interoperability and evolving to adapt any new IP communications support needed as these new products and services are introduced, and as technologies and smart energy protocols evolve.
To @Gus campeon, I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada...small house, 2,000 sq ft...granted we get the lowest electricity rates in the world, $0.07/kWh...but even if the rate was double it would be $80 a month, still less then daily coffee...Kris
I know how much I pay ($40/month) and think this is too low...at that price I have absolutely no incentive to cut my energy use...however, I do have an incentive to cut down my coffee consumption which is $200/month...Kris
Matter of fact, I don't know, or really care how much I pay for electricity. Nor do I care for smart appliances, or smart meters (which in real life have led to more complaints from consumers that they are used by power companies to get more money out of them, not less).
Not to mention the fact that modern jargon like "interoperability" and garbage like that set off alarm bells that I am about to either be bs'd or bored.
Rant continued to get past the 2000 character limit.
Do you, as an EETimes reader, who does not represent the technical know how of an average consumer, know what you pay per kwh for electricity? Off the top of your head?
Cisco, Microsoft and Google have all abandoned their plans in home energy management. Maybe they are all wrong.
All I am saying is, don't throw pickles down a rat hole. Remember, sunk costs, don't put good money after bad.
This is my opinion, it does not reflect the opinion of my current or past employers. I worked at a "Smart Energy company" implementing Zigbee based devices that interfaced with smart meters.
If you are reading this as an investor or person in the smart energy space, please take note. This is the unvarnished truth.
Smart energy is a good idea with no real market. The home user does not want another way for marketers to monitor their behavior. No,I do not need an email from my furnace or fridge telling me it is time to buy a genuine replacement filter. Energy savings is nice, but when the savings does not pay back the initial investment for 5-7 years, it is not interesting for most home users. I will not replace my furnace or fridge because it is "smart".
Commercial energy saving systems are a different story. There is some money in that market.
The utility is the other side of the smart energy story. Utilities do not want to manage the complication of a home full of smart devices. Building, commissioning and managing the installation of a secure wireless network kills any possible profit. There is a basic misunderstanding of the utility business model. If it is capital equipment, the PUC votes to pay for it. If not, don't do it. Smart energy has so far failed in front of the PUC.
Beyond some stimulus funds, there really is no market.
Ask the basic marketing question. Who want this technology? What problem does it solve?
The answer is no one, not the utility or the consumer. Electricity is sold at 10-30 cents per kilowatt. Consumers have no interest in saving, especially when the saving is up front expensive and seen as an inconvenience.