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The USNAP Alliance has announced that it is implementing a testing and certification program for products implementing the ANSI/CEA-2045 Modular Communication Interface (MCI) Standard from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

This standard - developed by CEA, the USNAP Alliance and the Electric Power Research Institute - defines a port/plug that enables smart grid "ready" consumer products to be compatible with home energy management or utility demand response (DR) systems through customer-installable plug-in communication modules.

"With this new standard, consumers will benefit from smart grid 'ready' products that can be used anywhere," says Chris Kotting, executive director of the USNAP Alliance. "Manufacturers can build standardized products capable of working in any utility or service provider territory, and utilities benefit because the specification reduces the risk of stranded assets in the field.”

According to the USNAP Alliance, the new standard identifies the interface between a universal communications module and a smart grid device and provides a unifying technology that enables a broad range of consumer products to respond to energy information and DR events.

The USNAP Alliance is now developing a testing and certification program to verify that products built to the standard are compliant and interoperable. The alliance hopes to have the certification program completed before the end of this year.



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