The world is abuzz with curiosity about what the future will be like as we connect cars, appliances, even entire cities with the Internet of Things (IoT). This technology evolution will usher in new opportunities to improve the quality of our lives and create new avenues for economic growth. But it also means policies developed before IoT, like energy efficiency standards, need to evolve so they continue to make society more sustainable as they reduce costs for consumers.
That is why ITI is endorsing a set of principles that have been developed to make sure the high standards we have achieved for energy efficiency through technology advances work in this new age. Developed by the G20’s Networked Devices Task Group, the principles have two focuses:
- Design Principles to provide guidance on the key features of energy efficient networked devices, networks and communications protocols for designers, manufacturers and authors.
- Policy Principles to encourage a common global framework for the development of government policies and measures.
For several years now, ITI has been in dialogue with the U.S. government and other stakeholders on adapting current energy efficiency policies so they continue to work in the emerging world of connected devices and (IoT). It’s an important goal because government efficiency policies have traditionally been rooted in improving the efficiency of standalone devices, and that approach will not achieve the results we want in the networked world we are entering. Indeed, that kind of standard could even be counterproductive to energy efficiency goals.
ITI’s early efforts to improve efficiency featured two co-hosted ENERGY STAR workshops with the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, we supported research initiatives to study the issue by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and Skip Laitner’s Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates, all of whose reports can be found here.
In 2015, ITI built on these efforts by collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy in the G-20 Connected Devices Task Group. The task group was one of six energy efficiency work streams undertaken by the G-20 last year, and the recommendations that emerged from our work were approved by the G-20 Leaders at their Summit last fall.
One of the key accomplishments of the task group was the agreement upon the “Voluntary Principles for Networked Devices” we have endorsed. These principles provide guidance for both the private and public sector that improve the energy efficiency of: (1) connected devices, (2) the networks to which these devices connect, and (3) the work enabled by these networks. They include guidance for design and operation, and encourage a common global framework for public policy. ITI will promote the principles as part of our global advocacy efforts with governments and other interested stakeholders.
The task group’s efforts will also continue through a public and private sector collaboration called the “Connected Devices Alliance (CDA).” ITI and our member companies are actively involved in this collaboration, and as chair of a Working Group on Intelligent Efficiency Measurement and a member of the Centre of Excellence Review Panel, I look forward to the new ideas and great efforts of this collaborative group in the months to come.