Design Brief: Demand Response

June 17, 2013
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Demand Response TOCDemand response (DR) is an energy management strategy that allows electricity consumers to receive financial compensation for temporarily reducing or rescheduling power use upon request. DR creates opportunities for building owners and managers to realize financial, operational, and environmental benefits by changing energy use patterns in response to market signals.

Technological innovations are making it ever easier for building owners and operators to realize DR’s many benefits. Automated demand response (ADR) refers to a process in which building equipment receives notification of forthcoming DR events through a secure internet connection with a central demand response server and then executes specific load-reducing actions without human intervention. ADR saves facility managers time on event days and creates more consistent, reliable, and rapid load reductions. The improved reliability and responsiveness of ADR is also creating new financial opportunities for customers by allowing them to participate in markets for ancillary electrical services like frequency regulation.

This design brief is intended to provide electrical customers, consultants, and contractors with basic information on the benefits of DR as an energy management strategy. It discusses how DR, energy efficiency, permanent load shifting, and demand side management are related, and outlines basic DR measures for commercial and industrial facilities. This brief emphasizes control systems and key design considerations for maximizing the benefits of participating in DR and ADR programs.

The first edition of this design brief was prepared in 2008 for Energy Design Resources by Nexant, Inc. (San Francisco, CA). The authors cordially thank Mr. Peter Chan of PG&E.

This design brief was revised in 2013 by Energy Solutions (Oakland, CA) with support from ASW Engineering (Tustin, CA) and Linda Brandon Design (Oakland, CA). GeoPraxis, Inc. (Sonoma, CA) provided additional editorial and logistical support. The second edition emphasizes recent developments in Demand Response, including Automated Demand Response and advanced control technologies.

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