ZigBee Smart Energy FAQ  
  1. What is ZigBee Smart Energy 1.1 and what functionality does it add?

    ZigBee Smart Energy 1.1 is an incremental release of the ZigBee Smart Energy standard. ZigBee Smart Energy 1.1 adds two categories of features, the first introduces new optional functionality, including:

    • Block tariffs (inclining/declining block rates)
    • Meter swap outs
    • Tunneling of manufacturer specific protocols
    • Prepayment
    • Over-the-air upgrades
    • Backwards compatibility 

    The second category includes enhancements to the test specification to further device interoperability. 

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  2. What is Smart Energy Profile 2 and what functionality will it offer?

    The SEP 2 standard offers IP- based Home Area Network (HAN) energy management functionality and was ratified in April 2013. It addresses the following needs of the market::

    • Deployments in multi-dwelling units such as apartment buildings
    • Supports multiple Energy Service Interfaces into a single premises
    • Control of plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) charging
    • Supports any transport based on IETF IP compliant standards, including but not limited to ZigBee IP, other RF-based and Power Line Carrier (PLC)-based transports
    • Supports internationally recognized standards to ensure long-term interoperability with multiple technologies

    Accomplishing these goals has led to the adoption of networking standards that ensure interoperability between ZigBee and other network technologies. The ZigBee Alliance developed an internet protocol (IP) networking specification called ZigBee IP which is based on existing IETF protocols such as 6LoWPAN, mDNS, ROLL routing etc. The application function sets implemented for SEP 2 have been mapped to the IEC Common Information Model.   Additional data beyond the IEC Common Information Model will be proposed back into IEC.

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  3. Will ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x and Smart Energy 2 be interoperable?

    While Smart Energy Profile 2 will expand the application landscape for energy management solutions, the technologies it uses to meet business requirements are different than those used in ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x.  These differences in standards mean that ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x devices will be interoperable with Smart Energy Profile 2 devices through a gateway.  This gateway function can be integrated into a product or made available in a separate device.

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  4. Will ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x devices be upgradeable to SEP 2?

    ZigBee SE 1.x devices include mechanisms for software updating in the field.  However, it is up to the manufacturers if their deployed devices can by updated to run SEP 2. 

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  5. What is the nature of the partnership with HomePlug Alliance in the context of SEP 2?

    SEP 2 was developed to address a variety of requirements including deployment in very large size multi-dwelling units where direct wireless connections between smart meters in a basement and HAN device in an apartment may not be possible. SEP 2 communication can be performed using HomePlug Alliance power line carrier (PLC) communication and the ZigBee Alliance worked early with HomePlug Alliance members to incorporate requirements in the SEP2 standard. HomePlug Alliance also participates in CSEP to help develop the SEP 2 testing program.

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  6. Now that SEP 2 has been ratified, when will we see certified SEP 2 products?

    The Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability (CSEP) has been created to establish a consistent test program in order to insure interoperability among SEP 2 devices using different IP-based network transports. CSEP members, including ZigBee Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, and HomePlug Alliance, have been working to finalize the test plans and tools to enable certification. Once this work is complete, the ZigBee Alliance will open its certification program and testing will begin. All ZigBee Certified testing is performed by independent, authorized test service providers in order to ensure conformance to ZigBee standards and interoperability between devices. The first certified ZigBee-IP based SEP 2 devices are expected in early Q4-2013.

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  7. What more can you tell us about the SEP 2 test plans and tools and whether there will be any variance in the certification rules or procedures for SEP 2 devices?

    CSEP is currently finalizing the test plans and tools. and the ZigBee Alliance will announce more details about this soon. These SEP 2 plans and tools will be integrated into current ZigBee Certified program as we would integrate testing to certify product for any other ZigBee standard and there will be no change to the current rules and procedures.

    The ZigBee Certified program tests the functionality and interoperability of products using ZigBee standards and specifications to ensure they meet stringent quality standards. To learn more, visit: http://www.zigbee.org/Certification.aspx.

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