The ZigBee® Alliance announced it is proposing use of the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a basis for an IEC standard. ZigBee Smart Energy is the only standardized home area network solution in the market today meeting the tough requirements of leading utilities worldwide according to the alliance. The deployment of an estimated 30 million ZigBee equipped smart meters is underway in North America. Working with the IEC on an even broader global standardization will benefit the energy sector and public by placing more emphasis on energy management and smart grid development.
The ZigBee Alliance and its members are already working with a variety of organizations focused on smart grid technologies. Those organizations include the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Digital Addressable Lighting Initiative (Dali), HomePlug Powerline Alliance, International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Open Smart Grid, other industry organizations and various governmental authorities worldwide.
It seems like ZigBee is finally starting to take hold with some wide use commercial applications and could automate and optimize our energy use. I still think it will take a while for it to be wide spread but it looks like a promising sector for growth.