NEMA developed the SG-IC 1 standard that spells out the roles and responsibilities for each of the four main participants in the testing scheme for interoperability and security among smart grid products.

The guidelines introduce uniformity and portability to the process, and create the necessary checks and balances for the overall testing process.

Stakeholders in smart grid can now validate the interoperability and security of individual grid elements on a consistent, industry-wide basis.

Implementation of the guideline will promote the major points that define the smart grid adoption process, namely testing and certification, governance, harmonization, and backward compatibility.

NEMA’s guideline represents a major step in addressing one of the challenges defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel in delivering on the promise of smart grid.

NEMA president and CEO Evan R Gaddis said the goal of the utilities is to ensure that products are interoperable the day they are installed.

"Prior to the publication of these guidelines, each utility would have been required to develop its own testing procedures for interoperability. This would have created a tremendous burden on manufacturers who sell the same product to multiple utilities," Gaddis added.