A proposed standard intended to create smart facilities in support of a national smart-grid effort is open for an advisory public review ending Sept. 3.

Jointly developed by ASHRAE and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Standard 201P, Facility Smart Grid Information Model, would provide a common basis for electrical-energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical-energy consumptions and forecasts.

“Historically, electricity consumption has been viewed as a collection of dumb loads at the end of a distribution system,” Steve Bushby, chair of the committee writing the standard, said. “There has been almost no interaction between the ‘loads’ and those responsible for electricity generations and distribution. The vision of the smart grid changes this picture radically. In a smart-grid world, facilities become full partners in supporting and managing the electric grid. Facilities become generators using local renewable or other generation capacity. Facilities moderate electrical demand in response to fluctuations in the price or availability of electricity. Facilities communicate and negotiate with energy providers, sharing information about the facility's projected electrical demand or ability to respond to the energy provider's needs for maintaining grid stability and reliability.”

Proposed standard 201P would define an object-oriented information model to enable appliances and control systems in homes, buildings, and industrial facilities to manage electrical loads and generation sources in response to communication with the smart electrical grid and to communicate information about those electrical loads to utility and other electrical-service providers.

“Energy providers would benefit because it enables interaction with all different types of facilities in a common way,” Bushby said. “Facility owners benefit because products can be designed for use in multiple facility types, and products designed primarily for one type of facility—a home, for example—can more easily be used in another—say, a commercial building.”

The standard is part of ASHRAE’s efforts to support the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, a public-private partnership initiated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to speed development of interoperability and cyber-security standards for a nationwide smart electric-power grid.

The proposed standard will coordinate with work by the North American Energy Standards Board to develop a basic energy-usage-data-model standard and create a facilities data model that provides additional energy-usage data elements for commercial and industrial buildings.

To read the draft standard or submit comments, click here.