This report introduces the plans by the ClimateTalk™ Alliance to specify interconnections for HVAC and water heating equipment to participate in energy management programs. This equipment accounts for as much as 60% of home energy costs. The ClimateTalk Alliance specifications provide relatively low-cost interconnections to an energy management system. The positioning of an energy management system between a smart grid and end-devices reduces the communications complexity and cost for connecting HVAC and water heating equipment to a home network. A Universal Serial Bus (USB) with Plug and Play provides the interconnection.