Demand Response Research

What is Demand Response?

Demand Response is the integration of technologies, policies, programs, strategies and practices that automatically manage the communication and electricity-related actions of the grid to dynamically respond to real-time electricity supply conditions and market pricing. When coupled with Energy Storage technologies, Demand Response can achieve peak load reductions and enhanced system response at lower system cost while maintaining the same performance levels. Demand Response and Energy Storage are two aspects of the Smart Grid research within the Energy Technology Systems Integration (ETSI) Research Area.

Demand Response Research Center

In the spring of 2004, the Energy Commission established the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The DRRC conducts research that advances the near-term adoption of demand response technologies, policies, programs, strategies and practices. The DRRC conducts research in the following areas:

  • Energy System Integration & Communication
  • Buildings
  • Industrial, Agriculture & Water

Energy System Integration & Communication Research focuses on Dynamic Pricing, Automation & Communication, and Open Automated Demand Response. This research focuses on lowering the cost of, and increasing participation in demand response programs and dynamic rates. This research may enhance industry knowledge on how demand response activities are communicated through the Smart Grid as well as how facilities could respond to varying prices over time.

Buildings Research focuses on the Residential and Commercial applications of demand response technologies and strategies. In California, buildings contribute the highest peak load. This research focuses on the use of building technologies and control strategies for dynamic peak load reduction with varying response times and durations.

Industrial, Agriculture, and Water Research focuses on Industrial Demand Response, Refrigerated Warehouses, Food Processing, Water & Wastewater and Data Centers. This research focuses on opportunities and barriers to the implementation of Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) in industries. Research in Auto-DR will enhance industry knowledge on how demand response direct control, bidding, and pricing options will work within an open, interoperable internet-based signaling communication and technology platform.

Demand Response Benefits

  • Reduce costs of electricity by using customer load reductions to meet grid system demands.
  • Automation of demand response activities over the Smart Grid.
  • Provide customers with automated, electronic price and reliability signals.
  • Provide customers with capability to automate customized site-specific demand response strategies.
  • Provide utilities with dispatchable operational capability.
  • Promotes job creation in related technological and service industries.
  • Helps enable higher penetration of renewable on the grid by producing auxiliary services.

Demand Response Research Contacts

Buildings and Grid Level Demand Response Inquiries:
David Hungerford, Ph.D.
Lead for Demand Response and Behavior Research
Please put "Demand Response Inquiry" on the subject line of your email.
Phone: (916) 327-2341

Industrial, Agriculture and Water Specific Demand Response Inquiries:
Anish Gautam
Mechanical Engineer
Please put "IAW Demand Response Inquiry" on the subject line of your email.
Phone: (916) 327-2382

Please send postal mail, attention the above staff, to:
Demand Response Research
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS 51
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512