FM Alert: Smart Grid Standard Published

smart gridThe smart grid effort underway around the globe will transform the fundamental structure of the grid by combining an intelligence infrastructure with the grid, which will enable two-way flow of both information and electricity.

A key piece needed to support that modernization and transformation is a newly published standard from ASHRAE and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

ANSI/ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201-2016, Facility Smart Grid Information Model, provides a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts. The standard is packaged with a User’s Manual.

The standard is part of ASHRAE’s supporting efforts for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), a private-public 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.

A “facility” in the context of this standard can be a single family house, a commercial or institutional building, a manufacturing or industrial building, or multiple buildings such as a college campus. There is a range of control technology used in these facilities and standards to support them. The Facility Smart Grid Information Model (FSGIM) provides a common framework to guide the development of these control technologies so that they can meet the control needs of a smart grid environment.


“In a smart grid world, facilities of all kinds will become partners in managing the electricity grid, sometimes providing local generation and moderating loads to balance variations in renewable energy supply or meet other grid constraints,” said Steve Bushby, chair of the Standard 201P committee. “The FSGIM provides a common path forward for residential, commercial and industrial control technologies to implement the features needed to participate in the smart grid.”

“The technologies that are enabling high performance buildings are evolving at a fever pitch and the need for a common model for communication of energy data is essential,” said Robert Hick, vice president engineering for Leviton Manufacturing and co-vice chair of the Standard 201P committee representing NEMA. “Adherence to this standard will insure interoperability of energy systems within all types of buildings and compatibility with the smart grid for current and future technologies. The contributors to this publication come from a broad collection of stakeholders in all the related industries and their dedicated efforts to developing and publishing this standard could not be more timely.”

“SGIP’s Priority Action Plan (PAP) process is designed to identify standard gaps or needs and to facilitate the development, discussion, and recommendations for Smart Grid-related standards to advance grid modernization,” said Aaron Smallwood, director of technology operations for SGIP. “We’re pleased that the Facility Smart Grid Information Model PAP17 resulted in the development and approval of ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201, and that we now have the opportunity to review Standard 201 for inclusion in SGIP’s Catalog of Standards.”

The standard provides a way to model real building systems as a combination of four abstract components: loads, generators, meters, and energy managers.

The kinds of functionality that will be enabled by the model include:

  • On-site generation management
  • Demand response
  • Electrical storage management
  • Peak demand management
  • Forward power usage estimation
  • Load shedding capability estimation
  • End load monitoring (sub-metering)
  • Power quality of service monitoring
  • Use of historical energy consumption data
  • Direct load control

The standard will be supported by a User’s Manual that provides information about how to interpret the features of the model. It also defines a set of anticipated use cases for facility interaction with a smart grid and provides guidance on how to apply the standard to those use cases, according to Bushby. Expected publication of the User’s Manual is early June 2016.

A ballot has been initiated to approve Standard 201 as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, via ISO/Technical Committee 205 Building Environmental Design. If approved, the ballot, which is expected to take several months to complete, would move the standard to publication as an ISO standard.

Standard 201 builds on and makes use of several other related standards applicable to the smart grid including:

  • IEEE 61850 (generators)
  • OASIS WS-calendar
  • OASIS Energy Market Information Exchange
  • NAESB REQ Business Practices and Information Models to Support Priority Action Plan 10—Standardized Energy Usage Information (Green Button)
  • OpenADR
  • Weather Exchange Model (WXXM)

The cost of ANSI/ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201-2016, Facility Smart Grid Information Model, packaged with the User’s Manual, is $110, members ($129, non-members). The User’s Manual for Standard 201 will be available soon. Purchasers of the standard will automatically receive a complimentary PDF of the User’s Manual upon its release.

To order, visit or contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide) or fax 678-539-2129.