Automated Demand Response for Smart Buildings and Microgrids: The State of the Practice and Research Challenges

Tariq Samad, Edward Koch, Petr Stluka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Keeping up with growing electricity demand and ensuring reliable grid operation, as renewable sources reach a large proportion of generation, require end-use facilities - commercial, residential, and industrial - to be sensitive and responsive to grid connections in new ways. Automated demand response (ADR) is widely acknowledged as a key approach. The technology has progressed substantially since early implementations, with worldwide projects and a new standard. Recent applications with grid-integrated buildings and microgrids are extending the functionality, with increasing sophistication of how demand-side load profiles are managed and with integration of distributed storage and generation. This paper reviews the motivation for demand response (DR) and outlines the architectural models, technology infrastructure, and communication and control protocols that are currently in use. Four projects for commercial buildings and microgrids, in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, are described. We also point out limitations of the state of the practice that represent opportunities for research and development. Several research topics are noted, focusing on needs for modeling, optimization, and control, and some preliminary related work is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7416149
Pages (from-to)726-744
Number of pages19
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.


  • Automated demand response
  • OpenADR
  • building automation
  • control systems
  • demand-side management
  • energy efficiency
  • energy management
  • microgrids
  • smart grids


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