UL certifies BGE smart-home energy management

  • March 21, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

A smart-home product from Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) is the first to test and achieve Energy Star Smart-Home Energy Management Systems (Shems) certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Recognised by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Shems certification body, UL assessed BGE’s connected home and small business prototype to specifications outlined in the EPA’s Energy Star Shems certification requirements, which establish required energy-saving smart-home features designed to deliver cost savings as well as user convenience.

“Energy savings and environmental concerns among consumers are helping speed the adoption of innovative smart-home energy-efficient products to save money and reduce environmental impact,” said Dave Piecuch, manager of UL’s energy efficiency group. “We congratulate Baltimore Gas & Electric for their efforts in incorporating energy efficiency into product design to mitigate energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

A package of smart-home devices connected to a central service, it empowers user amenity and energy savings through scheduling, remote device control and automated device control based on occupancy detection. These features limit the needed standby power of connected devices.

To be certified as an Energy Star Shems, the package must meet minimum service capabilities and device requirements, including an Energy Star certified connected thermostat and connected lighting, plus plug load devices and occupancy sensors.

As a requirement of certification, BGE provided UL with collected anonymised statistical data from six months of operation from active BGE connected home and small business installations that summarised system installation information and in-field performance.

BGE spearheaded a connected home and small business demonstration to assemble the required data. This technology trial in Annapolis, Maryland, provided connected technologies to 200 residents and small businesses in the city. The information from the project was used to evaluate the potential impact of these technologies on energy reduction, financial savings and other lifestyle areas such as convenience, accessibility and security.

The Annapolis demonstration pilot project was part of Connected Communities, a larger initiative in which BGE works with communities and stakeholders to identify areas where the utility can improve quality of life through its infrastructure and services.

“Our ability to find a way to combine innovative smart-home products with the capabilities enabled by BGE’s smart grid technology shows that we are focused on meeting our customers’ future energy needs,” said Alexander Núñez, BGE senior vice president. “We are proud to align technology and the needs of our customers with our path-to-clean goal to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2050.”

UL delivers testing, inspection and certification, training and advisory services, risk management, and business insights to help its customers in more than 100 countries achieve their safety, security and sustainability goals.