Smart Energy FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Smart Energy Technology

What is Smart Energy and how is it different from Zigbee?

Smart Energy is the world’s leading standard for interoperable products that monitor, control, inform and automate the delivery and use of energy, water and gas. This standard supports the diverse needs of a global ecosystem of utilities, product manufacturers and regulators as they plan to meet future energy, water and gas needs. It helps create greener homes by giving consumers the information and automation needed to easily reduce their consumption and save money.

Does Smart Energy have its own brand mark?

Yes, it does. It’s officially Smart Energy by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. Download from logo library.

What markets does Smart Energy serve?

Residential: Transparent price and information empower and increase consumer trust, deliver energy cost savings, help control/integrate residential Distributed Energy Resources (DER) with utilities for a win-win solution, and give consumers choice in utility providers. Real-time information drives smarter energy decisions, reduces impact on the environment and improves emissions footprint. Smart Energy features are reliable, secure, easy to install and convenient to use.

Commercial/Industrial: Open standards support a marketplace of multiple vendors that lowers cost through competition. Smart energy helps lower energy costs, reduce your impact on the environment, and ensures regulatory compliance with building and emissions standards. 

Utility/Energy: Smart Energy’s purpose is to offer utilities another way to provide value and differentiate themselves. With a focus on reducing utility usage, and keeping consumers informed, Smart Energy provides value for all stakeholders. Use of Smart Energy allows utilities to use demand response and pricing signals to balance load and to maximize grid revenue when adding new demand, like that of Electric Vehicles, to the grid.    

What are the main benefits of Smart Energy? 

  • Reduces energy consumption: For utilities, it improves energy availability and reliability and eases regulatory compliance. For residential and commercial end users, the dynamic usage information drives decisions to conserve and eases compliance with conservation programs. 
  • Reduces environmental impact: Utilities benefits from increased efficiency that reduces the need for additional generation capacity. For residential end users, Smart Energy improves emissions footprint and reduces impact on the environment. For commercial end users, Smart Energy eases compliance with emission standards and helps reduce impact on the environment.
  • Affordable: Open standard supports competitive marketplace of multiple platform and product vendors, which lowers costs.
  • Easy to Use: 
    • Standard technology, certified interoperability, global 2.4GHz spectrum eases adoption and customer service
    • Use of standard speeds access to new markets, and a reduced product research and development cycle
    • Wireless technology eliminates cost and hassle of running wires. Certified interoperability, global 2.4GHz spectrum, and sub-GHz support simplify installation and operation
    • Automatic features simplify use

What are the main features of Smart Energy?

  • Metering Support: Supports multiple commodities including electric, gas, water, and thermal. This means real-time and historical information for the generation and consumption of energy, whether battery- or mains-powered, providing visibility for utilities and consumers alike.
  • Demand response and load control: Supports real time shedding demand to prevent brownouts and blackouts, and future demand to balance demand and generation for utility grid stability and for maximizing revenue over existing grid assets. Provides utility with encrypted demand response logs for tracking who received and ran events, and who opted out of demand response events. 
  • Pricing: Supports Flat, Block, and Time of Unit (TOU) pricing for residential, and commercial/industrial customers. When combined with metering and current/forward looking energy costs for Distributed Energy Resources (DER), allows for peak period demand and generation shifts, saving costs for consumers and supporting grid stability for utilities. TOU pricing is often used drive shifts in demand, eliminating the need for Demand Response events.
  • Security: Supports Certificate Based Key Establishment using 128 bit X.509 certificates embedded in Smart Energy certified devices for device authentication and unique encryption key between smart home devices and utility meters as well as between smart home devices themselves. 
  • Text Messaging: Supports Text Messaging that can be used for utility text messages to consumers and text message communication between devices, including scheduling/canceling of confirmation messages at multiple urgency levels.  

What kind of security does Smart Energy use? 

ZigBee Smart Energy uses advanced security based on elliptical curve cryptography specifically implemented for use by electric utilities to enable a highly secured smart grid. 

How does Smart Energy Certification work? 

Smart Energy by the Connectivity Standards Alliance devices are among the most certified devices within CSA. Learn more about certification.

Where is Smart Energy technology currently deployed? 

Zigbee Smart Energy is widely deployed and delivering benefits to consumers today. More than 40 million Zigbee Smart Energy electric meters are being deployed by more than a dozen utility companies in the USA. Major deployments include California, Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, Michigan, Washington, DC, and Virginia. An additional 40 million meters (from utility RFPs) in the USA are in various stages of business case development and rate approval with local regulatory bodies.  Smart Energy by the Connectivity Standards Alliance was chosen as the standard for UK smart energy market, deploying millions of installations. Millions of meters were replaced with Smart Energy meters in France.