ATLANTA — A proposed standard to create smart facilities supporting a national smart grid effort is open for public comment.

ASHRAE and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) are jointly developing Standard 201P, “Facility Smart Grid Information Model,” that would provide a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts.

The proposed standard is open for an advisory public review until Sept. 3, 2012.

“Historically, electricity consumption has been viewed as a collection of dumb loads at the end of a distribution system,” said Steve Bushby, chair of the committee writing the standard. “There has been almost no interaction between the loads and those responsible for electricity generation 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,” he said. “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,” said Bushby. “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 commercial buildings.”

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.

To read the draft standard or to submit comments, visit

Publication date: 8/13/2012