New energy smart appliances standards enable transition to a flexible and low carbon energy system

19 May 2021

BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, publishes two standards from the Energy Smart Appliances programme sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

Energy smart appliances like electrical vehicles, home batteries and heat pumps are set to transform the demand for electricity as the UK moves to net zero carbon emissions. Smart control of these and other appliances will be essential to avoid overloading the electricity grid and minimize the cost of new infrastructure. The two new standards will enable the manufacture and use of smart appliances which are secure and interoperable, in an important step towards empowering consumers to actively manage demand on the grid.

PAS 1878:2021, Energy smart appliances – System functionality and architecture – Specification, enables standardized control of Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs) to provide flexibility services to the electricity grid and to match the short-term availability of intermittent generation sources, like wind and solar renewable energy.

The new standard outlines requirements and criteria that an electrical appliance needs to meet to perform and be classified as an ESA. The performance criteria could allow for compliance of ESAs to be assessed against the standard. It covers the functional requirements and system architecture of ESAs, which enable the performance of Demand Side Response (DSR) based activities, including communication links and object functionalities. It also specifies the ESA operational framework of DSR-based activities, including communication protocols and lifecycle considerations.

PAS 1879:2021, Energy smart appliances – Demand side response operation – Code of practice, provides best practice guidance for grid-side actors to enable standardized control, subject to an explicit consumer consent, of ESAs on an electricity network in a manner which is safe, secure and interoperable.

The new standard sets out a common definition of DSR services for organizations in the consumer electricity sector. It provides recommendations to support the operation of ESAs and to perform DSR-based activities involving electrical appliances used in domestic or small business settings. The specific appliance categories in scope for domestic DSR service span: heating, ventilation and air conditioning appliances (HVAC); cold appliances, such as refrigerators; wet appliances, such as washing machines; battery storage; and smart EV chargepoints.  

Sebastiaan Van Dort, Associate Director of Energy Standards at BSI said: “The new Energy Smart Appliances standards are a major step forward in the transition to a smart, flexible and low carbon energy system. In response to the government’s transformational energy plans, consumers are becoming more directly involved in managing demand in the electricity system through smart appliances that react to the availability of electricity. The new standards will provide essential guidance and good practice for the fast-moving industry to roll out ESAs safely and responsibly, whilst also helping to protect consumers from new data and privacy risks.”

Climate Change Minister Lord Callanan said: “We all need to think smart to develop new and innovative ways to use energy more intelligently, making sure we achieve our ambitious targets to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050. Smart appliances such as electric vehicle charge points and heat pumps are going to be key to this and the publication of these standards demonstrates UK leadership in smart products and services that are cutting costs and helping reduce carbon emissions.”

The standards have been developed by separate steering groups1 with representatives from organizations in the UK energy eco-system, including manufacturers, ESA and DSR providers, consumers, network operators and energy supply companies.

Download the free standards here.


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Notes to the editor:

1Steering group PAS 1878

Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB); Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE); The Alan Turing Institute; The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA); British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers' Association (BEAMA); Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Strategy (BEIS); Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV); Consumer and Public Interest Network (CPIN); Carbon Co-op; Centrica plc; CSO Confidential Ltd; Energy Systems Catapult; Green Energy Options Ltd (geo); Kaluza Ltd; Kiwi Power; Mixergy Ltd; Moixa Technology Ltd; Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT); Tech UK; United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS); and University of Warwick.


Steering group PAS 1879

Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE); Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA); Department for Business Energy, Innovation and Strategy (BEIS); Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV); British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers' Association (BEAMA); Carbon Co-op; Consumer and Public Interest Network (CPIN); EDF; Energy Networks Association (ENA); Energy Systems Catapult; Flexitricity; Kiwi Power; Landis+Gyr; Moixa Technology Ltd; National Grid ESO; Northern Powergrid; Ofgem; OVO Energy/Kaluza; Schneider Electric; and Western Power Distribution.

Energy Smart Appliances programme

The ESA programme is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to facilitate the uptake of safe, secure and interoperable ESAs, including electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints. ESAs can be used for the active management of demand on the electricity network, known as Demand Side Response (DSR) services. To learn more, please visit: