Diffusion of Automated Grid Transactions Through Energy Efficiency Codes
Building codes have defined minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of building equipment and systems. There has been a growing interest in building codes that support standards for automation of demand responsiveness and grid transactions. These new codes to facilitate energy efficiency and demand response (DR) goals enable buildings to transact with the electric grid at various time scales. Energy efficiency and DR are at the top of the loading order in California and are important global strategies to lower carbon emissions and costs, and to optimize supply and demand. There is a strong need to educate building owners, vendors, and code officials on the intent of these new codes for electric grid transactions. The electric utilities must be engaged to take advantage of the DR automation capabilities in new buildings to advance sustainable and economically sound energy technologies and policies. This paper reviews recent work on this topic and the new requirements in California’s mandatory 2013 Title 24 building energy efficiency standards that became effective on July 1, 2014. Title 24 has requirements for non-residential demand responsiveness and automation in lighting controls, plus heating and ventilation and air conditioning controls. It also requires the control system to be able to receive a standards-based demand response signal. The paper summarizes the history of how this feature was included in the code. The code language is intended to be general, as communications technology changes over every few years, and to provide guidance to enable architects, engineers, vendors, contractors, and building owners to have DR systems that can function with future technology. This paper provides an application of Open Automated Demand Response data and communication standards and how they can be used in Title 24 to lower technology costs and enable buildings and grid interoperability. We identify the significance of such building codes and discuss how the solution for adoption of DR automation in the United States can be applicable in Europe.