Modeling the Interaction Between Energy Efficiency and Demand Response on Regional Grid Scales

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Date Published




With increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation at grid and distributed scales, flexible building loads can provide significant system value and support the evolving needs of the grid. The growing value of load flexibility may complicate the traditional separation between energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR). EE measures may compete in some cases with a building’s DR capabilities but complement one another in other cases. EE can also increase or decrease the need for DR at the system level and change the availability of DR to meet system needs. In this study we present a bottom-up approach to modeling interactive effects between EE and DR in buildings within two regions of the US electricity grid. From a library of building simulation models for different buildings and climates, we synthesize system-level demand profiles and the impacts of potential future EE portfolios. Coupling the underlying building models with a database of DR-enabling technologies, we then compute the quantity of DR that can be delivered in each scenario. The results show that EE and DR interactions are largely driven by the timing of EE savings that are measure-specific and the coincidence with system peak demand that is region-specific. We also find that perspective of the impacts matters – for instance that some EE measures reduce the system need for DR but also reduce the DR potential. Our results imply that utility EE and DR programs developed without considering interactive effects may lead to increased grid-management challenges over the long term.


ACEEE 2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Year of Publication



This conference paper builds on a conceptualization and descriptive framework of EE and DR interactions described in this technical report. 


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