SAN JOSE, Calif. A trade association of appliance makers has released a technical paper outlining what the group needs to enable its products for a smart electric grid. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) posted the paper on its Web site as talks continue at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
The group foresees appliances that tap into data about the grid to let consumers make or automate decisions about how to operate washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances. Such decisions could lower home energy bills and reduce peaks in grid demand, eliminating the need to build more power generating plants.
The paper outlines three requirements. Smart grids must supply data on energy pricing rate structure and incentives to consumers based on time of use. Strong consideration should be given to the development of uniform pricing and usage information standards that provide a harmonized way of communicating local rate and timing information, the group said.
Secondly, the group called for communication standards and protocols that are open and limited in number across all utility districts. Government planners recently called for industry to set a standard for linking home appliances to smart grids.
Finally, the paper said consumers need choice and privacy in providing control over their appliances. The boundary of the utility's reach should end at the smart meter, the paper said. If a consumer wishes to override deferral of an appliance function and incur a higher electricity rate, they should be able to make such a choice, it added.
AHAM participates in a number of smart grid standards efforts including the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel and several of its Priority Action Plan groups organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. AHAM also serves as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to IEC Strategic Group 3 on Smart Grid.