Activity overview

FY2023 Activity Report

ECHONET Consortium promoted the activities in accordance with the new roadmap for the dissemination of ECHONET 2.0 formulated in FY2022 at the ECHONET 2.0 Realization WG, which reports directly to the Board of Directors, and explained the results of consideration in accordance with the ECHONET 2.0 strategic guidelines at the ECHONET Forum held in February 2024 and ECHONET Symposium held in March 2024. Specifically, we expanded the number of ECHONET Lite target devices and considered ways to ensure the reliability of the entire system, considered use cases to increase the number of ECHONET 2.0 service cases, and examined measures to popularize ECHONET 2.0 and system design for business development.

In order to demonstrate the realization of multi-vendor device connection using ECHONET Lite Web API as a way to ensure reliability, we created a demo system and exhibited it at CEATEC. In examining use cases and authentication systems using ECHONET Lite Web API, we focused on collaboration with the IENAKA data linkage platform and smart homes, as well as the DRready which is expected to spread the use of ECHONET Lite compatible devices. In addition, we released “ECHONET Lite Web API Guidelines DR related service specifications Version 1.0.0” to the public, and in collaboration with the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) VPP Subcommittee, JEMA published “Guidelines for the utilization of consumer energy resources in VPP 2nd edition” as an application example of API when controlling customer resources by VPP.

We continued to promote the dissemination both domestically and internationally, international standardization, operation of the ECHONET Lite AIF certification system, and new formulation and revision of ECHONET Lite standards.

For example, in response to properties related to equipment error standardization expanded in Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device objects Release R, we updated the application communication interface specifications for the “storage battery class, “residential solar power generation class” and “electric vehicle charger/discharger class.” Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device objects Release R which has revised Low-Voltage Voltage Smart Energy Meter class and added bidirectional high-voltage smart electric energy meter class and frequency control class has been released to the public. “Interface Specifications for Application Layer Communication between low-voltage smart electric energy meters and controllers Ver. 1.10” and “Interface Specifications for Application Layer Communication between bidirectional high-voltage smart electric energy meters and controllers Ver. 1.00” were also released to the public.

In domestic promotion activities, we continued to strengthen collaboration with JEMA, Japan Federation of Housing Organizations, JEITA. We exhibited at CEATEC 2023 and ENEX 2024 (jointly with Kanagawa Institute of Technology) and actively promoted our activities. As a result of collaborative activities with JEITA, it was decided that ECHONET Lite Web API has been adopted as the IT infrastructure for the Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and both JEITA and the ECHONET Consortium made a joint press release. In overseas promotion activities, we visited Taiwan and gave a lecture at the Japan-Taiwan Smart Energy Seminar, as well as exchanging opinions with companies and organizations on how to popularize ECHONET 2.0. We also visited IFA 2023, Energy Taiwan and CES 2024 to investigate overseas technology trends.

In terms of international standardization activities, we collaborated with Kanagawa Institute of Technology (KAIT) which was contracted with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s international standards development project (national project), to promote the standardization of the “Interface Specifications for Application Layer Communication between storage batteries and HEMS controllers” and it became an international standard as ISO/IEC 14543-4-302 in April 2023.

In the operation activities of the ECHONET Lite AIF certification system, 65 cases of ECHONET Lite and 90 cases of ECHONET Lite AIF (40 cases of controller, 59 cases of device) were newly registered this year. As a result, the cumulative number of certifications was 1,002 for ECHONET Lite certification and 902 for ECHONET Lite AIF certification (474 for controllers and 428 for devices).

As a result of these activities, the total number of ECHONET Lite certified products shipped has reached 149.8 million units.

FY2024 Business Plan

ECHONET Consortium this fiscal year aims to further expand the number of ECHONET Lite compliant devices which have already reached more than 138 million units on the consumer side, with the aim of realizing a carbon-neutral and digital society. Furthermore, in order to realize cloud services that utilize ECHONET Lite compatible devices, a major pillar will be to promote ECHONET 2.0 related activities such as DRready support and the establishment of a certification system in collaboration with a wide range of related organizations.

We will take measures and consider ways to promote the government’s DRready as an important initiative for digitalization measures and data utilization in a wide range of fields using the increasingly popular ECHONET Lite compliant devices, and for collaboration in the cloud using ECHONET Lite Web APIs. In other words, while increasing the importance of demand response (DR) which serves as the basis for expanding renewable energy, it is possible to realize the energy saving by optimizing electricity demand by promoting the DR-ready of consumer resources such as water heaters and storage batteries, we can expect even greater use of ECHONET Lite compatible devices. In order to make these devices compatible with DR and optimal control and to ensure interoperability of energy services, we will work with the Japan Electrical Manufacturers Association (JEMA) and other organizations to propose and demonstrate systems using ECHONET Lite Web API for social implementation and aim to build an ECHONET Lite Web API certification system compatible with the DRready.

In addition to engaging in domestic and international dissemination activities and the new formulation and revision of the ECHONET Lite and AIF (application interface) standards together with JEMA, CHAdeMO Association, Japan Federation of Housing Organizations and consortium members while listening to the demands of the market, we will also continue to consider technology for future IoT support. In addition, in order to take advantage of the large number of ECHONE Lite devices on the market, we will create a white paper that summarizes examples of linking ECHONET Lite compliant devices with other communication standards via bridges.

In line with the new roadmap for dissemination of ECHONET 2.0 and the ECHONET 2.0 strategic guidelines, we will proceed with studies aimed at realizing an orderly collaborative creation space. We will proceed the discussions from a wide range of perspectives in the Service Cooperation Platform Study Group and through the collaboration with the JEMA subcommittee in which consortium members participate. We will work together with university institutions and JEITA to build a demonstration environment for how to ensure the reliability of the entire system. We will continue to set use cases and consider various web-based services, such as support for smart homes and support for low-voltage resource groups in the supply and demand adjustment market scheduled to start in 2026.

As for dissemination activities, we will disseminate these activities at various exhibitions and events such as CEATEC and ENEX and use our website and direct mail to spread awareness. In particular, we will actively make proposals and appeal to related ministries, agencies and academic experts who are proceeding with system design to achieve digitalization and carbon neutrality to solve a wide range of issues. We aim to contribute to solving social issues by incorporating the results of ECHONET Consortium into related systems. In this activity, we will share global issues and seek solutions that can be addressed through standards by holding the workshops as a place to exchange opinions not only with ECHONET Consortium members but also with non-member service providers and members of other organizations, with the aim of disseminating ECHONET 2.0 related services.

As mentioned above, we will continue to engage in a variety of activities centered on the ECHONET Lite standard this year.

On the other hand, the financial situation of ECHONET Consortium, which has so far focused on the dissemination of standards, continues to be in the red. Considering the active trends in Japan and overseas, it is necessary to invest in both ECHONET Lite and ECHONET Lite Web API from this year onwards, and in order to continue to meet the expectations of members, it is necessary to review the membership fees for 2025. In addition, regarding the ECHONET Lite and AIF certification systems, as the costs required to maintain and manage the website related to subsidy requirements such as ZEH, it is necessary to ensure the continued and stable operation of the certification systems, we will review the certification registration fee and aim to revise it in October 2024.

Through these activities, ECHONET Consortium will continue to review our organization and operational structure to ensure efficient operation to respond to requests for cooperation from governments, domestic and international industry organizations and member companies to disseminate the ECHONET Lite standard and expand the home network and IoT markets, and to build a permanent operational base.

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