Under a national Smart Grid effort, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) are jointly developing a standard that would provide a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts.

A kickoff meeting to begin work on the proposed standard is taking place Aug. 30-31 at ASHRAE Headquarters in Atlanta.

ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P, Facility Smart Grid Information Model, will 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 a “smart” electrical grid and communicate information about those electrical loads to utility and other electrical service providers.

“Smart grids lead to smart meters lead to smart systems,” ASHRAE President Lynn G. Bellenger, PE, said. “As the smart grid adjusts to suit load distribution and maintain power quality and reliability, one of the steps will be to communicate with building metering systems which, in turn, will communicate with building systems and equipment. This ties into demand-response control to reduce peak demand. One day in the future, we likely will have real-time pricing with dramatic differences in power costs dependent upon the time of day or grid load.”

The standard is part of ASHRAE’s supporting efforts for 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 ASHRAE/NEMA 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. This includes lighting, heating, HVACR, and other electrical loads.