Kenneth Wacks - Conferences
Home Systems & Energy Management


The SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) appointed Dr. Wacks to chair the Home/Building/Industry-to-Grid Committee exploring grid-edge challenges. He has directed and facilitated the development of white papers on:

   •  Home-to-Grid Requirements
   •  Roadmap for Interoperable Networks, Systems, Devices
   •  Privacy of Consumer Information
   •  Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) for H2G Devices
   •  Free Market Choice for Appliance Physical Layer Communications
   •  Appliance Socket Interface
   •  Modular Communications Interface for Demand Response (now an American National Standard, ANSI/CTA-2045)
   •  Installation Guide for Smart Grid Appliances
   •  Broadcast-based H2G Communication Solutions
   •  Barriers to Responsive Appliances at Scale
   •  Local Grid Definitions
   •  Smart Grid System Stability with Broadcast Communications
   •  Economic Value of Integrating Consumption Preferences in Electric System Planning
   •  Smart Grid System Security with Broadcast Communications
   •  Customer Energy Services Interface
   •  Analysis & Framework for Customer Storage in the Smart Grid
   •  Transactive Energy Retail Applications
   •  Interoperable Transactive Retail Tariffs


Dr. Wacks wrote an in-depth report for the Consumer Technology Association that introduced smart grid concepts to consumer electronics executives and managers. The objective was to describe potential business opportunities for consumer electronics products that complement smart grids in homes. These products might be a new line designed specifically to support smart grid functions or might be an existing line with additional features for enhancing these functions.

Electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar and wide power is proliferating. The outputs from these power sources fluctuate with the weather and time-of-day. To accommodate these sources while maintaining grid stability, the GridWise Architecture Council is investigating Transactive Energy. Transactive Energy consists of economic and control tools that enable suppliers and consumer to adapt to this fluctuation while maintaining a reliable and resilient smart grid. Dr. Wacks worked with the GridWise Architecture Council to organize workshops and conferences on Transactive Energy.


Dr. Wacks helped the GridWise Architecture Council organize a workshop in August 2012 to focus on local initiatives for sustainability.  Speakers from Canada and the United States addressed opportunities for new companies in the local community to provide power generation services, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy management services. Some energy management may be incorporated into consumer electronics installed in the house.  Creating a smart grid is much more than a technical challenge.  Therefore, in addition to discussing technologies, the speakers explained how they handled business and policy issues.

The concept of a smart grid extends the electricity grid beyond the meter to connect with home networks for energy management. Some have suggested that the industry should have uniform standards for networks that access the home and for networks within the home.  However, a group of companies led by CableLabs was concerned that mandating standards for access networks and home networks might inhibit a competitive market. Instead, CableLabs proposed that NIST (United States National Institute of Standards and Technology) accommodate customer choice in access and home networks. CableLabs is a non-profit organization that conducts research for the cable telecommunications industry. CableLabs and Dr. Wacks wrote Creating a Robust Market for Residential Energy Management through an Open Energy Management Architecture.

Digital Media Networks


Dr. Wacks investigated technologies for distributing high quality video in buildings with minimal impact on the wiring infrastructure. He developed reports on HDBaseT™ technology for distributing audio, video, control, and power over structured cabling used for home and building networks.

In 2009, CABA, the Continental Automated Buildings Association, conducted a multi-client research project on streaming video. Streaming video consists of Internet Protocol (IP) data packets interspersed with other IP packets carrying e-mail, web content, data files, voice data (VoIP), etc. The video packet stream is also called Over-The-Top video (OTT video) because the video is “riding on top of” the broadcast channels that may be carried on the same medium, such as a coaxial or fiber optics cable.

OTT video on the public Internet has become a vehicle for amateur video productions such as YouTube and for commercial services that are ad-sponsored or subscription. The CABA study explored consumer viewing of OTT video and preferred displays: TV, computer, or mobile devices. Focus groups ranging from teen-aged to retired Americans and Canadians were interviewed.  Dr. Wacks managed this project and wrote a summary in TV Anytime, Anywhere, Any Program.

Building Automation Systems

In 2015 and 2016 Dr. Wacks directed and facilitated the development of the following white papers for the CABA Intelligent and Integrated Buildings Council:

   •  “The Role of Hybrid AC/DC Building Microgrids in Creating a 21st Century Enernet,” EMerge Alliance
   •  “Printable and Flexible Electronics Enabled Intelligent Buildings,” Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association
   •  “Project Haystack,” Lynxspring, Inc. and SkyFoundry (tags for describing building automation system elements)

In 2014 Dr. Wacks was appointed chair of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) Intelligent and Integrated Buildings Council white papers committee. He co-authored a report on leading-edge trends in building design for Net-Zero-Energy high-rise commercial buildings. Also, he helped explore the social, business, and practical issues of maintainging offices in a building where companies allow employees to work at home.

Making buildings more energy efficient has been identified as one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to create jobs, save money, boost manufacturing of energy-efficient materials, and reduce harmful pollution.  In 2011 CABA organized research on the Smart Grid Impact on Intelligent Buildings and asked Dr. Wacks to manage this project.  The goal of this study was to estimate the potential market for smart grid products and services in non-residential buildings.  This study examined net-zero energy buildings.

In 2010, CABA launched a research project on intelligent buildings.  A focus of this investigation was the impact of smart grid developments on building operations, performance, and energy conservation. This project also included water conservation. Dr. Wacks managed this project and prepared a summary of the Intelligent Buildings Roadmap 2011 that was completed in December 2010.

The Canadian Government retained Dr. Wacks to develop the Best-Practices Guide for Evaluating Intelligent Building Technologies. The objective of the Guide is to encourage the installation of subsystems (lighting, security, HVAC, power management, etc.) that can interoperate in order to enhance services available to building managers and tenants. This work was organized by CABA. The Best Practices Guide builds upon the Intelligent Buildings Technology Roadmap, previously developed by CABA with Canadian government sponsorship. Dr. Wacks was an advisor on this roadmap.

Standards Activities
Convener (chairman) of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC25/WG11, the Home Electronic System Committee, developing international standards for home and building automation. Projects include HomeGate (the residential gateway), product interoperability, network safety, data security, energy management, and lighting.
Deputy Convener of an SC 25 Project Team writing structured cabling standards for homes and home offices.
Chair of CTA2 R7.8, Modular Communications Interface for Energy Management.
Vice Chair of CEA R7.2, the CEBus Standards Committee, and author of ANSI/CEA-721 (Generic CAL), ANSI/CEA-776 (CEBus-EIB Router), and CEA-844 (XML for Generic CAL).
Member of CTA R7 Consumer Electronics Networking Committee working groups (WG):
   •  R7 WG3 . . .Versatile Home Network using IEEE-1394b/c
   •  R7 WG4 . . .Enhanced User Interface
   •  R7 WG5 . . .Audio/Video Network Adapter
   •  R7 WG6 . . .Audio/Video Networks Based on Ethernet
   •  R7 WG7 . . .Wireless Entertainment Networks
   •  R7 WG9 . . .User Interface for UPnP/Ethernet
   •  R7 WG13. . .Control Network Based on Echelon LonTalk
   •  R7 WG14. . .IPv6 Working Group
   •  R7 WG17. . .Interoperability Using Standardized Device Descriptions
   •  R7 WG18. . .Home Networking Security and Privacy
Member of AHAM3 Smart Appliance Task Force writing standards for major home appliances (kitchen appliances).
Participant on AMRA/IEEE SCC314 writing standards for automatic meter reading equipment interfaces.
Member of ASHRAE5 Standard Program Committee 201, Facility Smart Grid Information Model.
Member of CABA6 standards committee coordinating public standards with private consortia.
Contributor to the CABA Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council and to oBIX7 at OASIS8 writing specifications for XML and web-services control of buildings.
The Working Group is formally known as ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 1:

ISO = International Organization for Standardization
IEC = International Electrotechnical Commission
JTC 1 = Joint Technical Committee 1, responsible primarily for information standards
SC 25 = Subcommittee 25, Interconnection of Information Technology Equipment
WG 1 = Working Group 1, entitled Home Electronic System

The missions of the ISO and IEC are to foster international trade and commerce.

CTA (CEA was renamed CTA in 2015) is authorized by ANSI to write American National Standards in home networking.
CEA = Consumer Electronics Association
CTA = Consumer Technology Association
ANSI = American National Standards Institute
AHAM is authorized by ANSI to write American National Standards for home appliances.
AHAM = Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
AMRA = Automatic Meter Reading Association, now called Utilimetrics
IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
SCC31 = Standards Coordinating Committee 31, "Automatic Meter Reading and Energy Management"

ASHRAE = American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

CABA = Continental Automated Buildings Association

oBIX = Open Building Information Xchange

OASIS = Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standar
Kenneth Wacks, Ph.D.     +1 781 662-6211