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This paper describes the concept for and lessons from the development and field-testing of an open, interoperable communications infrastructure to support automating demand response (DR). Automating DR allows greater levels of participation and improved reliability and repeatability of the demand response and customer facilities. Automated DR systems have been deployed for critical peak pricing and demand bidding and are being designed for real time pricing. The system is designed to generate, manage, and track DR signals between utilities and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to aggregators and end-use customers and their control systems.