As energy consumption continues to grow globally, finding innovative ways to reduce energy usage during periods of high demand has become increasingly critical. One solution that has gained popularity in recent years is Automated Demand Response (ADR).  

Demand response helps utilities optimize their energy delivery and manage energy demand, thereby improving the reliability and efficiency of the grid. But what is automated demand response exactly and how does it differ from traditional demand response?  

What is Automated Demand Response?  

At its core, ADR is a system that allows businesses and other organizations to automatically reduce their energy consumption during peak demand periods, without any human intervention.  

Companies can work with an aggregator such as GridPoint to automate their participation in demand response. This approach applies to all building types ranging from small commercial to large buildings, and enrollment, strategy development, event execution, and reporting are automated by GridPoint. 

The purpose of ADR is to help utility providers manage energy usage during times of high demand. When demand is high, grid operators may have to purchase electricity from more expensive sources, which can lead to increased costs for consumers. By reducing demand during these periods, organizations can help alleviate the strain on the grid, lower costs for themselves and other consumers, and reduce their carbon footprint.  

How does ADR work in practice?  

The first step is to install sensors and other monitoring equipment that can measure energy usage in real-time. This data is then transmitted to a central controller that can automatically adjust energy usage based on preset setpoints and parameters.  

For example, if a large commercial building has an ADR system in place,during periods of high demand, the building’s ADR system might automatically adjust the temperature to preset temperatures, turn off lights in unused areas, and reduce energy usage in other ways. By doing so, the building can help reduce the strain on the grid and reduce peak demand charges.  

One key advantage of ADR is that it can be fully automated, which means organizations don’t need to rely on facility employees to reduce energy consumption during peak demand periods.  

Learn more about GridPoint’s automated demand response programs.  

Automated Demand Response vs. Traditional Demand Response   

Automated Demand Response (ADR) differs from Traditional Demand Response (TDR) in several ways. Traditional demand response typically relies on human intervention and facility employees to reduce energy consumption during peak demand periods, while ADR is fully automated. This means that ADR systems can respond more quickly and consistently than TDR, which can be an advantage in situations where response time is critical.  

Additionally, ADR systems can be more precise in their energy reductions, as they are able to adjust energy usage in real-time based on data from sensors and other monitoring equipment. Finally, ADR systems are often easier to manage than TDR, as they require less manual intervention and can be customized to meet the specific needs of individual organizations. Overall, while both TDR and ADR have their strengths and weaknesses, ADR is the preferable option for organizations looking to manage their energy usage more effectively and participate in demand response.  

Learn how to utilize ADR with an energy management system.  

How Demand Response Saves Money  

Automated demand response helps businesses save money in two ways:  

  1. Reducing Peak Demand Charges: By reducing energy consumption during peak demand periods, organizations can lower their energy bills and avoid costly peak demand charges. This can add up to significant savings over time, especially for businesses that use a lot of energy. 
  2. Incentive Payments: Demand response programs allow businesses to get paid to reduce their energy consumption during peak demand periods, such as hot summer afternoons. By participating in a demand response program, convenience stores can earn incentives for reducing their energy usage during these periods.   

With very little effort, you can get payments, financial rebates, and credits. One GridPoint customer earned an additional $50,000 through demand response rebates and incentives alone in 2019. 

Automated Demand Response Challenges  

There are a few challenges associated with implementing ADR systems. For one, the initial investment required to install the necessary equipment can appear to be significant, which may deter some organizations from adopting ADR. However, many utility providers now offer incentives that can virtually eliminate all installation costs with an installation incentive. This means that your company will show a positive ROI from day one.  

Additionally, some businesses may be hesitant to adopt ADR systems because they are concerned about the potential impact on their operations. However, GridPoint’s technology uses customized curtailment strategies to slowly lower temperatures or adjust schedules automatically before an event is called. That way, there is little to no impact on customer or site comfort. 

Find a Demand Response Program.  

Automated Demand Response has the potential to change energy management for the better and help businesses save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to a more sustainable future. By automating energy management, organizations can focus on their core operations and help reduce strain on the grid during times of high demand while making and saving money. As energy consumption continues to grow and our power grids continue to age, ADR will become an increasingly important tool.