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With Electric Power Research Institute, Consumer Technology Association, and others, BPA has developed the

ANSI/CTA-2045 standard for an open communications protocol and physical port for electricity-using appliances. The port is analogous to a computer USB port, which accepts universal communication modules (UCMs) that can network with other devices, a building network, or the electric grid. The vision is that this standard will enable a new generation of “smart grid ready” products that limit risks and constraints of proprietary communications technologies and evolving standards. This approach, while limited to new water heaters, dramatically reduces the cost of adding appliances to a demand response program.

BPA is testing water heaters that conform to the ANSI/CTA-2045 standard for demand response and other potential value for users and electric power systems. These connected water heaters have internal electronic controls that cycle the heating system and a port and UCM that allows the water heater to receive signals from managers of the electric grid.

Current Stage: Emerging Technology Assessment

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