Cooper Power Systems and Honeywell has announced the companies’ joint demand response system is one of the first technologies to receive certification for ZigBee Smart Energy version 1.1, an open communication standard for smart grid products that help manage energy use and delivery. The system combines the Honeywell UtilityPRO demand response thermostat with the Cooper Power Systems Yukon advanced energy services software and communication technology.

The certification means the thermostat can receive demand response and other signals from the utility via the customer’s smart meter or in-home gateway. As a result, both utilities and homeowners can get detailed insight into energy consumption, and maximize the benefits of demand response technology and smart meter deployments.

In addition, the ZigBee Alliance, the non-profit association that manages ZigBee standards, designated the UtilityPRO/Yukon system as a "golden unit," making it a benchmark the alliance will use to test other products for Smart Energy certification.

Combining technology from Cooper Power Systems and Honeywell, UtilityPRO is the first touchscreen programmable thermostat designed exclusively for residential demand response programs. Effective demand response strategies help utilities temporarily reduce load on the electric grid when energy use and prices spike — typically on the hottest days of the year. UtilityPRO and Yukon enables a variety of control strategies that allow utilities to implement direct load control, dynamic pricing, and improve energy management through two-way communication. The collective decrease in demand helps stabilize energy prices, prevent disruptive brownouts and blackouts, and reduce the need for additional power plants.

With the UtilityPRO advanced display and messaging capabilities, utilities can now deliver near real-time usage and billing data to the home, providing homeowners with better customer service, and greater control over energy decisions. Utilities can also confirm the thermostat is connected to the network and is taking action when it receives a signal from the utility.

The Cooper Power Systems Yukon advanced energy services software is the engine behind the thermostat. It is a robust platform with an integrated delivery process and Web-based management dashboards that provide visibility into program performance and other metrics. The software offers utilities more communication choices than any other solution, along with additional two-way features and a solid migration path for the future. The collective decrease in demand helps stabilize energy prices, prevent disruptive brownouts and blackouts, and reduce the need for additional power plants.

Thirty-three utilities in the United States and Canada have already selected UtilityPRO and Yukon for their demand response programs, providing combined control of more than 500 megawatts of peak energy use. The long-term collaboration between Honeywell and Cooper has delivered more than 500,000 programmable communicating thermostats for programs across North America.