About

DRRC Background

The Demand Response Research Center (or "Center") is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

As a guiding principle, Center activities are multi-institutional in concept and operation. LBNL hosts the Center; guides Center development; and provides technical, operational and planning leadership. The Center director solicits stakeholder input and adopts research topics accordingly.

Demand Response (DR) consists of changes in electric usage by end-use customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.

Objectives and Scope

The main objective of the Center is to develop, prioritize, conduct, and disseminate multi-institutional research that develops broad knowledge to facilitate DR.

The Center's research agenda is crosscutting, practical, and relevant, with a goal of fostering an understanding of the complex factors that influence "what works." The Center research agenda covers three major DR research categories:

  • Energy Systems Integration, Communications, and Grid Integration
  • Residential and Commercial Buildings
  • Industrial, Agricultural and Water

Methods

The Center focuses on the following activities:

  • Multi-institutional partnerships
  • Connections with stakeholders
  • Long-term attention to DR
  • Research, development, demonstrations, and technology transfer

Stakeholders and Market Connections

A major element of the Center is the strong market connection developed for each and every project. A concerted effort is made to involve a variety of stakeholders in Center planning and on research teams. The Center's stakeholders include: industry trade associations, researchers, building owners, engineers, and operators, and building equipment manufacturers.

In addition to the broad-based involvement of stakeholders as described above, market connection strategies includes:

  • An extensive website
  • Research reviews and evaluation summaries
  • Project brochures and papers summarizing research results for multiple audiences
  • Educational material for utility, building associations, and related organizations

Accomplishments

One of the major accomplishments of the DRRC is the development and commercialization of the Open Automated Demand Response Communications technology. This effort began as a research concept and is now widely used throughout California and other locations. It is being formalized through the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards efforts and is on its way to becoming a national and international standard. Other accomplishments are described in the DRRC Two-Page Case Studies.