On April 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a webinar to review Draft 1 of Version 1.0 of ENERGY STAR® Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS). The intent of this program is to recognize smart home system packages that save energy and deliver cost savings and convenience by providing reliable vacancy detection, limiting standby power of connected devices, and providing users feedback on the energy impact of their settings. The key concept is that smart devices plus occupancy information plus automated services equal energy savings.
The first half of the webinar was a review of the draft specification, and the second half was an overview of the field method and data collection. For the draft specification, there was a review of definitions, scope, eligibility, test requirements, and certification elements.
Definitions were covered for the Smart Home Energy Management System, Smart Home Service Provider, Service and Device Package, Platform, Installation, and terms used to categorize Automated Actions. As combinations of connected devices and services managing home energy use, SHEMS consist of components including Smart Home Service Providers, Service and Device Packages, Platforms, and Installations. The Smart Home Service Provider is the company owning the brand which consumers see when interacting with their smart home energy management service. An ENERGY STAR certified SHEMS package delivers occupancy-based optimization and consists of both services (i.e. the software, algorithms, and user interfaces) and devices (i.e. the physical equipment). Platforms are service offerings encompassing multiple packages serving consumer interests such as security, health, and safety. An installation is an instance of a platform in a single dwelling. Finally, types of Automated Actions include those that are explicitly generated (by a hard trigger, say from user input), implicitly generated (by a soft trigger, say from occupancy information), and suggested (by a service-suggested trigger).
Regarding the scope, included products are those specified elements required to run the SHEMS. Eligibility criteria consist of five elements: required base services, additional platform capabilities, required devices, grid services, and field data reporting. Required base services include occupancy detection, automated optimization, energy information, remote user access, user notification for failures, user customization, vacation or safety modes, and device recognition. Additional required platform capabilities are the ability to connect to a water heater controller and the ability to leverage time-of-use pricing. Required connected devices are an ENERGY STAR certified thermostat, ENERGY STAR certified lighting, and load measurement devices for sub-metering (e.g. smart plugs or smart power strips).
Device-specific requirements largely relate to standby power limits and energy communication requirements. For smart plugs and strips, there is a limit of 1.0 W for idle power. Similarly, for smart lighting control, there is a limit of 0.5 W for standby power. For the SHEMS-specific hub, that is, a hub that is normally not present in the home, standby or idle power shall be reported. Furthermore, energy consumption of connected loads to the SHEMS shall also be reported.
For grid service criteria, capabilities must be published, including interface specifications and APIs enabling the demand-response function. For field performance, service providers must report aggregated statistical data every six months according to the ENERGY STAR SHEMS Method to Determine Field Performance. Test requirements and certification elements include package validation, standby/idle power tests, and a data reporting template with six months of field data.
Next steps target Draft 2 in June, the Final Draft in July, and the Final Specification in August.
More information, including the slide presentation from the ENERGY STAR team, can be found at the following page: www.energystar.gov/SHEMS.
Stakeholder comments can be sent to SmartHomeSystems@energystar.gov.