Several members of ZigBee Alliance, a group of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial, and consumer applications, have been selected to receive funding for their Smart Grid efforts as part of the United States American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
ZigBee Alliance members received a total of $478,823,415, representing a total investment of more than $1.2 billion in smart grid programs with ZigBee Smart Energy as the standard for home area networks.
The ZigBee Smart Energy profile was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices for the Smart Grid.
Individual ZigBee members received between $4 million and $200 million dollars for their Smart Grid projects. Members earning grants include: CenterPoint Energy, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Reliant Energy Retail Services, San Diego Gas and Electric, Honeywell International, and Whirlpool. Grants were awarded for a variety of ZigBee Smart Energy products and services, including large smart meter programs covering 4.7 million meters, installation of a variety of devices such as programmable communicating thermostats, in-home displays and load controllers, plus expediting the development of smart appliances.
ZigBee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utility companies and everyday household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. It is the underlying technology providing consumers with dynamic pricing information as well as programming control over smart appliances. This control allows consumers to manage their power use and how much they spend on energy while participating in demand response programs designed to help utilities manage generation needs during peak power periods.
“ZigBee Alliance members have been taking an active role in developing the Smart Grid for years and these grants are recognition for our members’ leadership on this important initiative,” ZigBee Alliance chairman, Bob Heile, said. “With ZigBee Smart Energy’s position in the marketplace and its role as an initial interoperable standard by NIST for the critical home area network piece of the Smart Grid, we expect that those utilities and product manufacturers sitting on the sidelines will adopt ZigBee.”