SAN DIEGO — The ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 standards are driving wireless smart energy solutions worldwide, according to technology research firm ON World. Between 2012 and 2018, ZigBee and 802.15.4 based systems are expected to make up 43 percent of the wireless chipsets used for home and building energy management, lighting controls, distributed energy resources, and smart metering.

“As core technologies for smart energy, ZigBee and 802.15.4 are used in smart grid initiatives worldwide,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “Energy service providers, governments, and consumers are demanding a new generation of energy management solutions and developers have responded with Internet-connected smart devices, cloud services, and standards-based end-to-end smarter energy solutions.”

Consumers rank energy savings as one of the most important smart home solutions. ON World’s latest survey with early technology adopters found that over half (54 percent) are “Interested” or “Most Interested” in home energy management. Almost half are willing to spend $7 or more per month on an energy service that saved them 10 percent of their energy expenditures. Thirty-eight percent are willing to spend $150 or more upfront if they could save up to 30 percent of their energy costs.

Some ZigBee/802.15.4 related developments over the past year include:

• Completion of ZigBee IP and the ZigBee Smart Energy 2 (SEP 2) profile for end-to-end IPv6 communications for connecting the smart meter infrastructure with in-home/building devices for demand response and energy management.

• The ZigBee Alliance recently announced they are developing a communication profile to ensure interoperability for the smart grid’s Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) using IEEE 802.15.4g and IETF standards such as IPv6, RPL, UDP, and TCP.

• Dozens of utilities across the U.S. are offering rebates for consumers to purchase smart thermostats by companies such as Ecobee, Honeywell, and Nest, as well as options to connect real-time energy displays (e.g., EnergyAware, Rainforest, and Comverge/Emerson) to smart meters.

• By 2018, more than 400 million IEEE 802.15.4 and/or ZigBee smart energy related devices will have shipped worldwide.

A report synopsis and a free executive summary are available at

Publication date: 2/24/2014

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