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Supplemental Information and Regulatory Requirements

EcoPort Relationship to CTA-2045

EcoPort is the brand name associated with CTA-2045 certified products. CTA-2045 is a technical standard promulgated and published by the Consumer Technology Association (R7.8 Modular Communication Interface for Energy Management Subcommittee.)

EcoPort Is the brand name for technology that has been certified compliant with the CTA 2045 technical specification.  Compliance means that a product has been submitted to the EcoPort certification program (operated by the OpenADR Alliance, which also operates a certification for the separate OpenADR standard, IEC 62746-10-1.)

The certification program provides for testing and verification the product’s correct sending and receiving of the messages defined by the CTA 2045 specification. Once a product testing report has been reviewed and found to be complete in its implementation of all the specification requirements, the product manufacturer receives the ability to use the EcoPort name and logo on its products and marketing material.

Legislative/Regulatory Requirements for EcoPort

Washington - State law now requires all new electric storage water heaters to include a CTA-2045 communications port. The final rule may be found here:  WAC 194-24-180

Oregon – Oregon established requirements for energy efficient water heaters, including CTA-2045 ports, effective July 2023. 

California - CTA-2045 has been proposed for inclusion in the 2022 revision of California’s JA 13, now in progress.  The California Energy Commission requires manufacturers to certify “that the building equipment, products, and devices listed meet the applicable requirements of Title 24, Part 6, of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards,” which include JA 13. (OpenADR is already a requirement of Title 24 (2019 version.)

JA13 (Joint Appendix 13) provides the qualification requirements for a heat pump water heater (HPWH) demand management system (“System”) to meet the requirements for HPWH demand flexibility compliance credit available in the performance standards specified in Title 24, Part 6, Sections 150.1(b). The primary function of the System is to serve the users’ domestic hot water needs and provide daily load shifting, as applicable, for the purpose of user bill reductions, maximized solar self- utilization, and grid harmonization.

JA13 requires “all requirements of the version 7.0 of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) Advanced Water Heater Specification Tier 3 or higher, excluding Appendix A.” If it is updated to version 8.0 in progress (see above), then CTA-2045/EcoPort would also become a JA13 requirement.

Ongoing - Several states in New England are considering similar mandates. EcoPort/CTA-2045 also is being discussed as a possible requirement for Federal purchasing of appliances.

CTA-2045 Water Heater Demonstration Report

This report, conducted by the Bonneville Power Administration, provides the business case for EcoPort.

EcoPort Relationship to AHRI 1430

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is developing AHRI Standard 1430, a broad specification for residential electric resistance and heat pump water heaters. A working group is actively creating a standard comprising Electric Water Heater application definitions; test requirements, operating and physical requirements, minimum data requirements for published ratings, marking and nameplate, and data and conformance conditions. The high-level goal is to “Harmonize connectivity standards between the current Advanced Water Heating (AWHS) , ENERGY STAR®, California JA 13, OpenADR, CTA-2045 and others.”  This standard builds on earlier work done on AHRI Standard 1380, which “fully supports the correct application of both OpenADR and CTA-2045 communication protocols for demand management of residential HVAC systems.”

EcoPort Relationship to AWHS 8.0

The Advanced Water Heating Specification (AWHS) provides guidance to manufacturers and market actors who are interested in developing residential, commercial, multifamily, and industrial water heating products that are able to provide high levels of consumer satisfaction and energy performance in a range of climates. Among many other features, this specification calls for compliance with CTA-2045.  

Units shall be configured and shipped with the capability to respond appropriately to demand response, grid emergency, and efficiency messages over a standard communication protocol and hardware interface. Units shall have a communication port that operates in compliance with CTA-2045 (or equivalent open source modular interface standard) with specific demand response signals such as shed, end shed, etc. The communication port shall be easily accessible and allow for the plug-in of non-proprietary communication modules. The product shall revert to the user’s previously-selected mode (or factory settings) after a demand response event. All CTA-2045 or equivalent open source modular interface functionality, including hardware and software, must be contained on the unit. A module or adaptor separate from the unit does not meet the requirement.

Again, a “compliant implementation” of CTA-2045 would mean bringing a product through the EcoPort certification program.

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) maintains a Qualified Products List for water heater products that company with AWHS 8.0.

EcoPort Relationship to ENERGY STAR® 

EPA has developed an ENERGY STAR® specification for water heaters, and recently released the latest Version 5.0 ENERGY STAR® specification for residential water heaters. It includes connected product criteria including minimum load shifting requirements, and “[t]he CWHP (Connected Water Heater Pump) shall meet the communication and equipment performance standards for CTA-2045 or OpenADR 2.0b (Virtual End Node), or both.”

EPA developed a similar ENERGY STAR® specification for pool pumps, Version 3.1, with similar inclusions of CTA-2045 and OpenADR 2.0b.