Auto-DR is an automation-based communications infrastructure that provides demand response (DR) program participants electronic, internet-based price and reliability signals that are linked to the facility energy management control systems (EMCS) or related building and automated process control systems. Auto-DR price and reliability signals trigger pre-programmed energy management and curtailment strategies developed by the customers in an automated manner. The Auto-DR price and reliability signals can be used to automate the response to dynamic pricing as well as conventional interruptible and demand bid options.
Auto-DR was developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) through their Demand Response Research Center, funded by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. LBNL has been operating Auto-DR pilot research programs since 2003 in a number of facilities throughout California. Results from the pilot efforts demonstrate that Auto-DR can deliver lowcost, reliable, consistently repeatable electric demand response in different types of facilities (mainly commercial buildings).
Drawing from the successful results of LBNL’s pilot efforts, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) required all California IOUs to deploy larger-scale Auto-DR efforts in their service territories as a way to enhance their overall demand response program portfolios and be better prepared to respond to severe heat storms that typically hit the state during the summer months.