Demand flexibility is the capacity of demand-side loads to change their consumption patterns hourly or on another timescale. Demand flexibility can help make electricity more affordable by helping customers use less power when prices are high. Demand flexibility can also make the electric grid more reliable by reducing demand for power when stress on the grid is high. Finally, demand flexibility can help build a cleaner electric grid by adjusting usage to take advantage of energy from renewable sources such as wind turbines or solar panels when supplies are high.
There is a growing understanding of the capabilities of demand-side systems to provide flexible load. New research is exploring how to develop grid-interactive efficient buildings that combine the capabilities of energy efficient buildings with the capability to provide grid services.
Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings
Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) are becoming an important resource for the electric grid in the United states. This is a topic of research at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office and many of the DOE’s national laboratories.
GEBs expand demand flexibility options beyond traditional demand response because of smart technologies like advanced sensors and controls and data analytics that can actively manage and adjust a building’s load profile to co-optimize for energy costs, grid services, and occupant needs and preferences in a continuous and integrated way.
For more information, please visit www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/grid-interactive-efficient-buildings.