Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 19, 2010 - The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President has issued a request for input from the public regarding the consumer interface with the smart grid.

In particular, comments are sought on issues related to smart grid implementation options, including the ways in which each option would support open innovation in home energy services.

The RFI says that the Executive Branch is considering ways to ensure that the consumer interface to the smart grid achieves the desired goal of providing all consumers with the information they need to control and optimize their energy use in a manner that ensures ease of use, widespread adoption, and innovation.

Input is welcome on issues related to the architecture of the consumer interface with the smart grid as well as consumer ownership of smart grid data. Questions that may be addressed include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Should the smart meter serve as the primary gateway for residential energy usage data, price data, and demand response signals? What are the most important factors in making this assessment, and how might those factors change over time?
  • Should a data gateway other than the smart meter be used for all or a subset of the data described in question 1?
  • If the smart meter, via the utility network, is the primary gateway for the data described in question 1, will it be technically and commercially feasible for consumers and their authorized third party service providers to access the data easily and in real time?
  • Who owns the home energy usage data? Should individual consumers and their authorized third-party service providers have the right to access energy usage data directly from the meter?
  • How are low income consumers best served by home-to-grid technology?
  • What alternative architectures involving real-time (or near-real-time) electricity usage and price data are there that could support open innovation in home energy services?
  • Some appliance manufacturers have announced plans to market smart grid-enabled appliances in late 2011 provided that appropriate communication standards are defined in 2010. What standard data communications interfaces(s) should be supported by appliances and the smart meter or data gateway so that appliance manufacturers can cost effectively produce smart appliances that can communicate with the smart grid anywhere in the nation? How can communication between smart appliances and the smart grid be made ‘‘plug and play’’ for consumers who do not have the skills or means to configure data networks? If gateways or adapters are needed, who should pay for them: The utility or the consumer?

However, several important smart grid topics – including federal and state policy hurdles, appliance interoperability standards, cyber security, and business case challenges – are beyond the scope of this request, except insofar as they bear on the primary topics identified above.

Comments are due by March 12.