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More and more new battery technologies are being offered for standby applications, with their manufacturers extolling the virtues of the product and, sometimes, glossing over the shortcomings. Potential users have lacked the tools to enable a complete evaluation of a new battery system and a comparison with traditional options, at least until the publication of IEEE Std 1679-2010, IEEE Recommended Practice for the Characterization and Evaluation of Emerging Energy Storage Technologies in Stationary Applications. This paper describes the origination of IEEE 1679, the outline of the document, and some examples of situations it can help avoid. Properly implemented, this new standard indeed enables a battery version of comparing apples with oranges.