CableLabs Specs Part Of U.S.'s Smart Grid Project
NIST Includes Consortiums Home Security, Energy Management, Home Automation
John Eggerton 10/22/2009 4:13:04 PM

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has adopted CableLabs specifications for home security, energy management and home automation as part of the agency's federally mandated energy-efficiency Smart Grid networks initiative.

According to NIST, the Smart Grid "will be key to national efforts to further energy independence and curb greenhouse gas emissions." The agency was tasked with coordinating standards by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

CableLabs' PacketCable Security, Monitoring and Automation (SMA) specification is included in the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Release 1.0 as one of 31 standards that were found to have "strong stakeholder consensus."

"We greatly appreciate NIST including our work on behalf of cable operators and suppliers in this Smart Grid program," CableLabs president and CEO Paul Liao said in a statement. "This lays the groundwork for broadband providers to deliver an array of services to help consumers manage their lifestyles and their energy needs."

Comcast chief technology officer Tony Werner commented, "SMA is an advanced IP-based architecture that can provide a standard platform for consumer Smart Grid energy management today. It represents the contributions of many next-generation home technology developers, and is based on widely accepted Internet standards."

The PacketCable SMA architecture is designed to enable home-security services that can notify first responders of emergencies and provide emergency alerts to home occupants, as well as monitor and automate home lighting, heating, cooling and appliances. The architecture allows Web-based applications to provide energy-management features to let both consumers and utilities "maximize efficient use and awareness of energy in the home," CableLabs said.