- Earlier in the year the U-SNAP (Utility Smart Network Access Port) alliance was formed with the mission of creating “a protocol independent serial interface standard that enables any HAN (Home Area Network) standard, present and future, to use any vendor's Smart Meter as a gateway into the home, without adding additional hardware in the smart meter”.
The alliance has already released its first specification for product developers on how to create U-SNAP compliant interfaces to accommodate several popular wireless standards. The alliance has also been boosted by Trilliant signing up. There’s more than one group working on smart grid standards (see my previous blog) so I hope they’re all talking to each other.
- The US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is seeking comment on how communication infrastructure and services could help achieve efficient implementation of smart grid technology. The full document is here, but the issues include which communications technology is best, current network availability, wireless spectrum requirements, use of real-time data and the use of home network connections.
This is all for the US, of course, but these are the sort of fundamental questions that all regulators will need to address.
- And finally, ScottishPower, a UK electricity provider, received some headlines for apparently being the first company in the UK to provide all its customers with smart meters. In fact it installed 340,000 new key meters to replace ‘Token’ pre-payment meters and never described them as ‘smart’.
They are certainly smarter - they allow data to be updated remotely, a meter reading is automatically recorded every time the key is re-inserted after adding credit (reducing the possibility of inaccurate bills) and the electricity is not cut off if credit runs out during the hours when it is difficult to purchase top-ups.
Good stuff, but not the smart meters that will help save the planet.