New NEMA Standard Facilitates Smart Grid

ANSI C12.22 will advance interoperability among communications modules and meters.

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The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA, announced on March 24 that it has published American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.22 “Protocol Specification for Interfacing to Data Communication Networks.”

This new application-level standard describes the process of transporting C12.19 table data over a variety of networks. The wide variety of information that it covers will be necessary in the implementation of the Smart Grid. This new standard will advance interoperability among communications modules and meters. C12.22 uses AES encryption to enable strong, secure Smart Grid communications, including confidentiality and data integrity, and it is also fully extensible to support additional security mechanisms the industry may require in the future.

Multiple vendors offer communication technologies that work in conjunction with C12.22, allowing utilities to choose options that make the most sense for their budget, objectives, and service territories. Open standards like C12.22 help utilities evolve their systems over time by enabling new technology to interoperate with existing infrastructure.

“As a standard protocol used for the Smart Grid, ANSI C12.22 is the latest in a series of extremely successful and widely implemented standards,” said Ed Beroset, chairman of the committee that produced the standard.

Said Ed May of the Electrical Metering Section, “Interoperability allows utilities to utilize multiple communication networks or change communications technologies while maintaining their investment in the meter. In this way, we believe that open standards in general, and ANSI C12.22 in particular, help protect the investment that utilities, ratepayers, and shareholders make in advanced metering.”

National Electrical Manufacturers Association

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