Market Transformation Lessons Learned from an Automated Demand Response Test in Summer and Fall of 2003
A recent pilot test to enable an Automatic Demand Response system in California has revealed several lessons that are important to consider for a wider application of a regional or statewide Demand Response Program.
The six facilities involved in the site testing were from diverse areas of our economy. The test subjects included a major retail food marketer and one of their retail grocery stores, financial services buildings for a major bank, a postal services facility, a federal government office building, a state university site, and ancillary buildings to a pharmaceutical research company. Although these organizations are all serving diverse purposes and customers, they share some underlying common characteristics that make their simultaneous study worthwhile from a market transformation perspective.
These are large organizations. Energy efficiency is neither their core business nor are the decision makers who will enable this technology powerful players in their organizations. The management of buildings is perceived to be a small issue for top management and unless something goes wrong, little attention is paid to the building manager's problems.
All of these organizations contract out a major part of their technical building operating systems. Control systems and energy management systems are proprietary. Their systems do not easily interact with one another. Management is, with the exception of one site, not electronically or computer literate enough to understand the full dimensions of the technology they have purchased. Despite the research team's development of a simple, straightforward method of informing them about the features of the demand response program, they had significant difficulty enabling their systems to meet the needs of the research. The research team had to step in and work directly with their vendors and contractors at all but one location.
All of the participants have volunteered to participate in the study for altruistic reasons, that is, to help find solutions to California's energy problems. They have provided support in workmen, access to sites and vendors, and money to participate. Their efforts have revealed organizational and technical system barriers to the implementation of a wide scale program.
This paper examines those barriers and provides possible avenues of approach for a future launch of a regional or statewide Automatic Demand Response Program.