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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced the publication of a new American National Standard, ANSI/CEA-2045, Modular Communications Interface for Energy Management. According to CEA, this standard specifies a modular communications interface (MCI) for energy management signals and messages exchanged among devices in a home and the smart grid system.

These devices include consumer products such as sensors, thermostats and appliances, as well as energy-related equipment such as energy management hubs, energy management controllers and residential gateways. CEA cooperated with the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel on the development of ANSI/CEA-2045.

The MCI specifies a plug-in module that includes a wired connection between a residential device and external communications. Communication links may be provided for power-line carrier and radio frequency, depending on the home-area network installed or the connection to the access network of an energy management service provider. CEA says the MCI plug-in module may be user-installable into a consumer product marketed as smart-grid ready.

“This standard provides consumer electronics companies and appliance manufacturers with flexibility to adapt products for smart grids by reducing the risks and costs of using proprietary communication technologies,” says Kenneth Wacks, the chair of the CEA R7.8 MCI subcommittee that developed the standard.

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