Policy Brief

Interoperability and open standards for home connected devices: Unlocking benefits for the power sector 

22 January 2024

The evolving landscape of the smart grid presents a realm of possibilities, with interoperability emerging as a pivotal driver for unlocking benefits throughout the power sector value chain. The smart grid universe is in a perpetual state of expansion, and its success hinges on achieving seamless interoperability. Understanding the intricate interactions between layers, domains, and zones is imperative. This policy brief emphasizes the need for comprehensive insights into these dynamics and underscores the essential policy pre-requisites to facilitate effective interoperability. While much attention is directed towards applications in the transmission and distribution domains, a notable hotspot is emerging within consumer premises. The surge in smart appliances and home-connected devices is transforming the dynamics at the grassroot level. Recognizing and addressing challenges within this consumer-centric sphere is crucial for realizing the full potential of smart grid technologies.

The proliferation of diverse brands of home appliances poses a challenge to the interaction among home-connected devices. Open standards are identified as a linchpin for overcoming this challenge, playing a pivotal role in fostering interoperability benefits for device manufacturers, consumers, prosumers, and the broader power sector. Interoperability and open standards pave the way for an integrated approach to energy management within homes. This integration facilitates seamless communication between home-connected devices and the larger grid ecosystem. This policy brief highlights the critical role of interoperability in navigating the expanding smart grid universe. It provides a roadmap for unlocking the full potential of interoperability and open standards in the power sector. By making informed choices and embracing a robust regulatory framework, stakeholders can foster collaboration, efficiency, and innovation, ensuring a resilient and interconnected power system.