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Notice of Staff Workshop
Developing a Reference Design for Demand Response

The California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission and California Resources Agency will host a joint public workshop to explain a reference design as well as discuss how a reference design will help California achieve its demand response (DR) policy goals, including the deployment of advanced metering systems.

This workshop will be the first of a series intended to facilitate an exchange among parties of different points of view on the scope, need, and timing for the development of a reference design.

10 a.m.

1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

(Directions to the California Energy Commission)

Audio from this workshop will be broadcast over the Internet.
For details, please go to: www.energy.ca.gov/webcast/

Agenda for the Workshop
Workshop Agenda (2 pages, Acrobat PDF file)
Workshop Presentations

The workshop agenda will cover four areas. First, staff will describe the concept of a reference design, as well as including a short tutorial covering the basics of energy industry communications including terms and definitions. Second, the state's existing demand response policy will be articulated to establish the starting point for the reference design vision. Third, speakers will present possible visions for how demand response policy objectives could be enhanced by a reference design. Fourth, selected industry representatives will present existing initiatives that could become the "backbone" of a reference design. Additionally, the staff will elicit public comments on the concepts presented. Finally, the staff will lead a facilitated discussion to solicit feedback on the potential need and timing for the development of reference designs related to information exchange, as well to specific components such as meters or thermostats.

At the workshop, a draft consultant report will be presented, A Strawman Reference Design for Demand Response Information Exchange (http://ciee.ucop.edu/dretd/). This will include a discussion of the core requirements that an information exchange infrastructure must meet to facilitate both known and future applications of the metering and supporting communication systems. The staff will seek comments on the concepts presented as well input on additional functional requirements.


A reference design is a framework for understanding significant relationships among entities. A reference design is a description of the physical components and capabilities necessary to support a given set of functions required by the owners or users of the system. Two principal goals of this reference design process are to:
  1. Encourage "open architecture," meaning vendors would use common interfaces in their products that would allow information interchange with other vendor products. This encourages innovation as well as lower costs.

  2. Think through, in advance, the potential new desired functions for the DR infrastructure. This lowers infrastructure costs by minimizing obsolescence and reduces the likelihood of stranded assets.

Although concepts like "reference design" and "open architecture" are new in the demand response arena, they are common in other industries. For example, a reference design for ATMs describes the physical components necessary to ensure that banks and their customers can use the ATM interface to safely exchange information about the status of customer accounts, transfer cash between accounts, deposit checks, and physically deliver cash on demand.

In other industries, a consortium of vendors often create a reference design without any action or awareness of government or the users of the product. In demand response, the vendors will be more successful in creating a "reference design" if there is clarity and agreement about the infrastructure vision and functional requirements.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, provides the public with assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you would like information on how to participate in this workshop, please contact the Public Adviser's Office by phone at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at pao@energy.state.ca.us. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate in this workshop, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

If you have technical questions of the subject matter of this notice, please call Michael Messenger at (916) 654-4774. News media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director, at (916) 654-4989.

This workshop is free and open for all to attend. However, seating is limited, and we encourage pre-registration. Please RSVP to Rachel MacDonald at [Rmacdona@energy.state.ca.us].

PDF IconWorkshop Agenda (2 pages, Acrobat PDF file)

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