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December 16, 2011 -
Today's tip is about an advance in automated demand-response systems that can help standardize how such systems are delivered in the marketplace.
You're probably already familiar with demand-response. It's a simple way to shave off a few bucks here and there from your monthly utility bill by undertaking temporary and voluntary reductions in energy use — lowering lighting, increasing the set point on the HVAC system slightly, or turning off a couple of elevators.
Automated demand response furthers the traditional DR by making it, well, automated. Automated demand-response allows the utility to send a notification to a facility's building automation system, at which time, the BAS automatically initiates a pre-designed demand-response plan. So, with automated demand-response, the process of responding to an event is much easier, indeed it's automatic.
Now automated demand response is moving a step further. The Demand Response Research Center (DRRC), part of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, developed the Open Automated Demand Response, or OpenADR, standard to expand the availability and improve the effectiveness and value of demand response programs. The standard allows more scalability and flexibility for ADR programs and allows the facility manager to make more decisions by integrating the system with existing building automation and control systems.
The DRRC has initiated an effort to make OpenADR a national standard sometime in the near future. This would be a tremendous benefit to facility managers who hope to work with a third-party vendor and their utility to implement an ADR system.