ZigBee, 802.15.4 “core technologies” for smart energy: ON World

The ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standards will support 43% of the wireless chipsets used for smart metering, home and building energy management, distributed energy resources and lighting controls between 2012 and 2018, according to new research from ON World.

The ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standards will support 43% of the wireless chipsets used for smart metering, home and building energy management, distributed energy resources and lighting controls between 2012 and 2018, according to new research from ON World.

“As core technologies for smart energy, ZigBee and 802.15.4 are used in smart grid initiatives worldwide,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “Energy service providers, governments and consumers are demanding a new generation of energy management solutions and developers have responded with internet-connected smart devices, cloud services and standards-based end-to-end smarter energy solutions.”

A survey conducted by ON World also found that consumers rank energy savings as one of the most important smart home solutions, with 54% of respondents indicating interest in energy management technology and almost half saying they would spend at least $7 a month on an energy service that saved them 10% of energy expenditures.

Another 38% said they would spend $150 or more upfront if they could save up to 30% of their energy costs.

ON World obviously sees a major role for ZigBee and 802.15.4 in this area, citing the progress of those standards over the past year.

One important development has been TEPCO’s (Tokyo, Japan) adoption of the Wi-SUN Alliance’s ECHONET-Lite specification for secure and interoperable communications between the smart meter and home energy management systems (HEMS), using IEEE 802.15.4g/e.

Meanwhile, dozens of utilities across the US are offering rebates for consumers to purchase smart thermostats by companies such as Nest (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Ecobee (Toronto, Canada) and Honeywell (Morristown, NJ, USA), as well as options to connect real-time energy displays to smart meters.

By 2018, says ON World, more than 400 million IEEE 802.15.4- and ZigBee-enabled smart energy-related devices will have shipped worldwide.