For Media |

UL Takes Stake In Consumer-Focused Electricity Grid Rating Program

June 6, 2011 

Partnership with Galvin Electricity Initiative Underscores Potential to Revolutionize America’s Energy Future

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is officially teaming up with the Galvin Electricity Initiative to help transform the nation’s electricity system for the 21st century. As partners in expanding the Initiative’s first-of-its-kind Perfect Power Seal of Approval™ (PPSoA) program to rate top-performing smart grid projects across the country, UL will devote both resources and personnel toward the training and certification of independent project evaluators.

“After months of collaboration with the Galvin Electricity Initiative, we are proud to formally back the Perfect Power Seal of Approval program, which is setting a much-needed standard for consumer access to more affordable, reliable, cleaner power,” said Jeff Smidt, UL  Vice President and General Manager for Energy and Industrial Systems.

In applying the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED concept to the electricity grid, PPSoA is the first program that brings together rating criteria in four, consumer-focused categories of reliability, consumer empowerment, efficiency and environment, and cost. By evaluating projects for performance in each category, the program can hold grid projects to high standards while recognizing progress along the path to perfect power.

Growing frustration over power outages and price hikes has industry stakeholders taking greater steps to measure current performance as well as accelerate the pace of innovation. The PPSoA program will help stakeholders — including consumers, designers, utilities and policymakers — better understand their options for resolving comparative performance issues, developing incentives to adopt best practices and holding market participants accountable for meeting consumer needs.

“We are honored to have such a well-respected safety certification organization like UL as a collaborator in this effort to provide consumers and communities with performance data, so they can make better choices,” Galvin Electricity Initiative’s Deputy Director John Kelly said. “UL has spent decades applying the very quality leadership concepts that embody the legacy of our founder Bob Galvin, who helped pioneer Six Sigma quality methodology when he served as Motorola’s CEO.”

The Initiative is encouraging developing projects to work with UL evaluators to incorporate the PPSoA metrics and benchmarks during their planning stages. Regulators and consumer advocates can use the metrics as a means to assess the value of smart grid projects. During the pilot phase, the rating system will be tested on a select group of microgrids. Beyond the pilot phase, UL will help the program expand to a broader stakeholder process and additional types of projects such as universities, developers, vendors and more.

The Perfect Power Seal of Approval rating system was developed by the Initiative with input from an advisory committee of experts in various sectors of the industry, including power distribution, utility benchmarking, environmental advocacy, green buildings, product safety and other relevant areas. The Advisory Committee will continue exploring ways to further refine the program.

To learn more about PPSoA criteria and performance metrics, visit

For more news about the PPSoA program, visit

For more information about UL, visit