Understanding OpenADR

Barry Haaser — July, 2012

OpenADR provides an open and standardized way for electricity providers and system operators to communicate Demand Response (DR) event and price information using the Internet. This new standard will help utilities implement new approaches to shifting electricity load by sending an automated message to the building requesting participation in a load event or indicating a change in the price of electricity.

Many building owners and operators are familiar with traditional DR that has been used for many years by utilities and Independent System Operators (ISO) to shift or shed electricity demand when the electrical grid is stressed or when the price of electricity is unusually high.  Energy aggregators typically sell DR services to building owners and operators, who, in return receive incentives or rebates for participating in the program. Industry has lacked DR standards, creating problems for users and utilities that often get stuck with stranded assets when they change from one supplier to another. DR is also intrusive, often requiring close coordination and manual intervention on both sides to share event information and to react to it.

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