Smart Home Energy Management Systems Key Product Criteria

ENERGY STAR certified Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS) are composed of packages of smart home devices and corresponding user services which are accessible through a single platform interface, such as an app. Below we provide an overview of the key criteria for all of these components of a SHEMS package.

User Services

A certified SHEMS includes an interface that provides easy recognition and setup of new devices, user control of devices from outside the home, and information on the energy consumption of SHEMS-connected devices. The SHEMS platform receives and responds to occupancy data (e.g. when a home is occupied or not, at minimum) and initiates energy saving device control actions by:

Facilitating user-established rules and schedules or event-triggered actions (e.g., arming alarm panel triggers ‘away’ setting)

Suggesting energy saving actions to the user based on device usage patterns, room occupancy, or home occupancy

Automatically controlling smart home devices based on device usage patterns, room occupancy, or home occupancy. (There also must be user opt out options for this feature.)

Required Devices

An ENERGY STAR SHEMS package includes a minimum bundle of smart home devices specified below. Additionally, if none of the devices in the minimum bundle includes a built-in occupancy sensor, a separate occupancy sensing device may be needed to provide an ENERGY STAR SHEMS package.

Required Devices

Minimum number of devices

Device Category


Maximum Standby Power


Connected Thermostat

ENERGY STAR Certified.

3.0 watts*


Connecting Lighting

Must include a minimum of either 2 ENERGY STAR Certified Connected lighting products, 2 smart light switches capable of reporting energy consumption, or 1 ENERGY STAR Connected Bulb/Fixture and 1 smart light switch capable of reporting energy consumption.

0.5 watts for smart light switches


Plug Load Monitor/Control

Includes smart plugs, smart power strips, and home energy monitors; must be capable of reporting power or energy consumption.

1.0 watts

*Maximum standby power for ENERGY STAR Connected Thermostats are identified by the Connected Thermostat Key Product Criteria.

Because the ENERGY STAR SHEMS program recognizes combinations of devices and specific services, the ENERGY STAR label should only be used in marketing and user materials that associate the required devices with the service platform. Devices (such as smart plugs and power strips) which are not certified under a device-specific ENERGY STAR program are not permitted to be labeled individually with the ENERGY STAR mark.

Additional Capabilities

An ENERGY STAR SHEMS platform, which encompasses all of the SHEMS service provider’s service offerings, is required to provide the following capabilities:

  • Providing a lighting safety mode that automates lighting when activated while home is unoccupied and consumes no more than 0.03 kWh/day
  • Controlling devices based on a time of use (TOU) energy price schedule provided by user input or integration with utility programs
  • Connecting to a water heater controller or ENERGY STAR connected water heater to enable occupancy-based control of water heating
  • With homeowner permission, adjusting the operation of at least one device in response to electric grid requests, while allowing for consumer overrides lasting no more than 24 hours, e.g. a smart thermostat

Unlike the minimum device package and user services, these capabilities are not expected to be enabled in all installations. SHEMS may have additional capabilities described in the Qualified Product List.

Field Performance

In order to verify compliance with the above requirements and provide insight into the energy savings performance of SHEMS, service providers must submit statistical data regarding the performance of their ENERGY STAR SHEMS in the field to EPA every 6 months. Because EPA is only collecting statistical data about a service provider’s population of installations, EPA will not receive any personally identifiable information associated with individual installations. Similarly, EPA is requiring service providers to report relevant cybersecurity and customer privacy standards which their products meet and will make this information available through the list of certified products.