A group of utility industry leaders have formed an alliance to create a low-cost connector standard to enable consumer products to communicate with any vendor's smart meter.
The U-SNAP (Utility Smart Network Access Port) Alliance currently has 19 members.
Founding members are Radio Thermostat Company of America and Sensus. Contributor Members, consisting of product manufacturers, includes Comverge (Nasdaq: COMV), eRadio, GainSpan, GE Consumer & Industrial (NYSE: GE), Intwine Connect, NURI Telecom Co., Ltd, Trilliant and ZeroG Wireless.
Influencer Members, consisting of non-manufacturers, namely utilities, includes 4Home, Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT), Benton PUD, Celestica International, CLECO (NYSE: CNL), LS Research, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro, Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) and Our Home Spaces.
The alliance addresses a key portion of the Smart Grid, the home area network (HAN), where consumer appliances and other energy aware devices talk to smart meters. As the Smart Grid and smart metering market grows, the development of an industry standard to enable plug and play connectivity between smart meters and home networks will be key to the creation and adoption of energy aware devices.
The Alliance is an open industry association developing an industry standard for connecting energy aware consumer products with smart meters. The Alliance will create and publish a standard, establish testing and certification procedures for product conformance and educate consumers, utilities and vendors on the benefits of the standard.
A single standard benefits utilities and consumers by lowering the risk of technology obsolescence.
"I am quite pleased with the first wave of companies joining the U-SNAP Alliance," said Jon Rappaport, chairman of the U-SNAP Alliance. "Our rapidly growing membership represents an impressive mix of utilities and appliance manufacturers, and enabling technologies who understand the dynamics of the Home to Grid market and the need to enable connectivity between smart meters and consumer products."
"There is increasing activity around smart meters and several companies are actively developing U-SNAP compliant products based on the first U-SNAP specification, with the first products appearing on retail shelves later this year," said Tim Simon, U-SNAP Alliance vice chairman.
More information on U-SNAP Alliance membership, technical specifications, and activities can be found at the link below.
A report on Greentech media said Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) also joined the alliance last week.