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Demand Response and Standards: Enabling a New Role for Buildings in the Smart Grid



David G. Holmberg


The role of buildings in the electric grid is steadily being transformed to that of active participant in managing the grid, serving as a key player in maintaining grid reliability. The necessity for this transformation is based on three factors: grid utilization is not constant, but rather characterized by peaks; power produced to meet peak demand is expensive and dirty (pollution and CO2); and political and environmental pressures are pushing toward intermittent renewable power generation which is not dispatchable. These factors are driving the U.S. and the world to address technological and regulatory barriers, and to develop needed standards to enable buildings to actively participate in the “Smart Grid” and to provide demand response (DR). DR is traditionally associated with temporary load shedding during system peaks. However, the goal of Smart Grid is to move to an “all the time” paradigm where buildings are supporting grid reliability while sharing the benefits of a more efficient and stable grid and lower electricity prices when power consumption is moved off peak. This article looks at the advances in demand response and standards that address building integration into this smarter electric grid.
ASHRAE Journal


buildings, BACnet, demand response, energy, Energy Interoperation, OpenADR, Smart Grid, standards


Holmberg, D. (2011), Demand Response and Standards: Enabling a New Role for Buildings in the Smart Grid, ASHRAE Journal, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017