Activities and Schedule

FY2020 Activity Report

Continuing from FY2019, the ECHONET Consortium focused on promoting activities for the realization of ECHONET 2.0 in fiscal 2020.

As a concrete measure, we established the “ECHONET 2.0 Realization WG” under the Board of Directors to identify use cases for linking with VPP aggregation and health devices, and to organize and study issues such as architecture and IDs for their realization. With an eye to the effective use of data by service providers, the Promotion Committee and the Technical Committee have jointly operated the Data Linkage Method Working Group for the purpose of promoting the mutual use and application of ECHONET Lite data between standards. This Working Group then began data linkage discussions with the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA), with whom they have signed an MOU, as a part of the joint research with Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST). For the ECHONET Lite Web API, which enables cloud-to-cloud linkages for realizing related services, we established guidelines (API Specification section Version 1.1.1 and Device Specification section Version 1.2.0) and made these available to the public. Meanwhile, the updated version of the experimental cloud in compliance with these specifications and operation check tools were released to members. The ECHONET 2.0 Technical Seminar Working Group, which was newly established under the Steering Committee, studied an educational program for service application developers with the purpose of promoting the spread of ECHONET Lite Web API.

Further, in order to increase the number of members from service providers, we actively provide information regarding the ECHONET 2.0 Vision and the activities of the ECHONET Consortium toward its realization at the ECHONET Forum, domestic and international exhibitions, symposiums, and the like. In parallel with them, we decided to release the ECHONET Lite AIF Specification to the public (scheduled for June 30, 2021). We also began collaborative activities with the smart home subcommittee of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) to strengthen collaboration with service providers.

Meanwhile, we have been continuously promoting various activities, including promotional activities to expand and popularize ECHONET Lite in domestic and international markets, efforts to make specifications into international standards, the continued operation of ECHONET Lite AIF certification systems, the establishment of new ECHONET Lite specifications, and activities to make revisions.

In terms of domestic promotion activities, we continued to strengthen collaboration with the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) and the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations (JUDANREN), while exhibiting online at CEATEC2020 and exhibiting virtually and physically at ENEX2021 in collaboration with the Kanagawa Institute of Technology (KAIT). Amid the hardship induced by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we actively promoted Consortium activities. As for overseas promotion activities, we strengthened our activities to raise awareness overseas by exhibiting virtually for the first time at CES (US) and Enlit Europe (Europe), in addition to exhibiting virtually at IFA2020 (Europe) as in the previous fiscal year.

Regarding making the ECHONET Lite AIF specifications into an international standard, AIF specifications between Home Air Conditioners and HEMS Controllers were officially approved on June 22, 2020. The project was promoted by the ECHONET Consortium in collaboration with the Kanagawa Institute of Technology (for the national project for standardization activities), which has been entrusted with the International Standard Development Project by the Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau. For his enormous contributions to this activity, a member of the International Standardization Working Group, Yasuyuki Takebe, received the International Standard Development Award from the Information Technology Standards Commission of Japan (IPSCJ).

The ECHONET Consortium made ongoing efforts to run the ECHONET Lite AIF certification system. This fiscal year, new certifications were registered including 73 ECHONET Lite certifications, 60 controllers for ECHONET Lite AIF certifications, and 43 devices. Consequently, this brought the cumulative total of certification registration to 839 ECHONET Lite certifications, 342 controllers for ECHONET Lite AIF certification, and 299 devices.

As a part of the new establishment and activities to make revisions to ECHONET Lite specifications, the ECHONET Consortium formulated AIF specifications between Storage Batteries and HEMS Controllers Version 1.20. Also, we formulated the APPENDIX Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device Objects Release N and Release P and made them available to the public.

FY2021 Business Plan

The fiscal year 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of ECHONET Lite. According to the current popularization status of ECHONET Lite products investigated in May 2021, the cumulative number of shipped products certified under ECHONET Lite specifications has reached 112.3 million units in total. There is no doubt that ECHONET Lite products is spreading to houses, together with the low-voltage smart electric energy meters which are planned to be installed in all houses in Japan by 2024. Since 641 products were registered during 2020 in the AIF certification system that started in April 2016, it is expected that more and more products will be popularized in markets via the AIF certification system in the near future. This is the result of vigorous efforts over a decade to formulate, revise, and disseminate the ECHONET Lite specifications, and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those who have supported these activities.

Continuing form last year, the Consortium is promoting activities aimed at the realization of ECHONET 2.0 in order to contribute to Society 5.0, with the aims of “popularizing the world’s best IoT houses and IoT offices” and “promoting and developing an I/F international standard that represents Japan and can contribute to economic growth and the resolution of social problems”. Specifically, as a measure to promote new subscriptions by service providers using the ECHONET Lite Web API, we will begin pilot operation of the ECHONET 2.0 technical seminar and will also aim to start operation of the “ECHONET Master System” designed for technical seminar participants as a new membership system. In line with these activities, ECHONET Lite specifications will be published for the public. Further, in order to strengthen collaboration with other organizations as part of the joint research with JAIST, we will promote collaboration with the CHAdeMO Association, W3C WoT, and the Study Group for the Hyper-decentralized 5 Grids Digital Society Research Group.

The Consortium will also continue studying ongoing domestic and global promotional activities, the formulation of ECHONET and AIF specifications, revisions of existing specifications, and also technology to support future IoT.

As for domestic measures, we will accelerate collaboration with related organizations such as the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA), the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations (JUDANREN), the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), and the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA), in order to achieve the widespread use of HEMS in all households by 2030. At the same time, we will boost promotional activities to assist with ZEH projects and exhibitions (CEATEC and ENEX).

As for overseas measures, we will continue to promote activities aimed at raising awareness overseas of ECHONET Lite by participating in exhibitions such as IFA (Germany), CES (U.S.), and other exhibitions in Asia, as we did in the previous fiscal year. Lobbying for adoption of ECHONET Lite will be promoted, especially in Asian countries. Regarding making the ECHONET Lite AIF specifications as an international standard, we will make efforts to improve the international status of ECHONET Lite Specifications through activities at international standardization groups including IEC.

For the AIF certification system, the Consortium will continually improve certification system based on market feedback, while expanding test objects and improving various specifications.

In addition to the above, as part of academic-government-industrial collaborative activities to promote more use of ECHONET Lite and HEMS, we will participate in various study groups hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) with the aim of achieving the government’s 2030 Energy Mix Target, by listening to the opinions of related industrial associations and member companies, and by formulating and revising standards after having incorporated the opinions of these groups. We will also promote activities to make AIF specifications as international standards in collaboration with the Kanagawa Institute of Technology, based on METI’s project for developing international standards.

Furthermore, the Consortium will respond to the request for supports from government, domestic and foreign industry associations and member companies with the aim of promoting ECHONET Lite specifications and expanding home networks and the IoT market. In order to implement the abovementioned specific activities and to establish a sustainable operation basis, the Consortium will continuously strengthen its organization and operation system.

FY2021 Activity Schedule

April Call for ECHONET Equipment Object Proposals (Release Q)
Report on the number of ECHONET Lite specifications / AIF specification conformance certifications
June The 8th Regular general meeting (June 9th)
Report on ECHONET Lite compatible product shipment status survey results
The 15th Forum (June latter half) (plan)
September The 26th Plug Fest (First half) (plan)
IFA2021 Berlin (3-7)&online (plan)
Enlit Asia Tangerang (28-30)&online (plan)
October Call for ECHONET Equipment Object Proposals (Release R)
CEATEC2021 Makuhari Messe (19-2)&online (plan)
Energy Taiwan 2021 Taipei (27-29) (plan)
November Enlit Europe Milan (30- Dec. 2)&online (plan)
December ECHONET Sympojium (First half) (plan)
January CES2022 Las Vegus (4-8)&online (plan)
ENEX2022 Tokyo Big sight (26-28) (plan)
February The 16th Forum (Fist half) (plan)
The 27th Plug Fest (plan)
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