Transmission tower with 2 buildings in front of it. Parity's HVAC Optimization service, Optimizer, works with the grid through demand response automation.

Automated Demand Response

Parity automates the participation in demand response events with remote control adjustments to earn buildings an additional revenue stream without compromising resident comfort.

Several transmission towers carrying electricity into a city at night during a demand response event.

What is Demand Response?

Demand response (DR) is a strategy that utility companies use to manage electricity consumption during peak demand periods. These typically coincide with the warmest days of summer, when the electric grid is the most vulnerable, and its emissions are usually the highest.

DR involves reducing energy demand in real-time or on a pre-determined, typically 2-4 hour window. This is called a demand response event.

Buildings that participate in demand response programs will reduce their electricity demand, reduce strain on the grid, and receive financial incentives from utility companies.

Buildings get paid per kW reduction during scheduled or sometimes unscheduled demand response events. For example, there are usually between 4 to 8 demand response events a year in a typical season in New York’s ConEd demand response program. This is a great opportunity for buildings to earn additional revenue.

Transmission wires outside of a city during the day carrying electricity to buildings during a demand response event.
New Revenue Stream

Automated Demand Response Curtailment With Parity

Parity can automate demand response curtailment to maximize revenue and reduce the impact of the temporary energy reduction for occupants during a demand response event.

We can do this because we remotely control a building’s HVAC systems. We have a deep understanding of the building’s real-time heating and cooling demand, so we’re able to automate their system with a unique level of precision.

For example, we can automate ventilation equipment for a demand response event. It’s normally not feasible for maintenance staff to scramble up to the roof to manually do this for every demand response event.

By working with the resident manager to pre-program the level of curtailment they are comfortable with, Parity can automatically “switch” the building into DR mode when the notification of an event is received from a DR aggregator.

This allows Parity to maximize revenue for the building while reducing any impact occupants might face from the temporary reduction in energy usage. Plus, this allows Resident and Property Managers to not have to manually perform any protocols, preventing possible mistakes or underperformance.

This graph shows Parity lowering the overall energy demand measured in kWs for a building during a DR event.

Automated Demand Response Curtailment Example

The graph to the right shows Parity lowering the overall energy demand measured in kWs. Here’s an example of how we automated demand response for a building during a demand response event:

Starting on Time:

In the graph, the 2022 line shows the building started curtailment almost a third of the way through the event. With our automation, we begin curtailment slightly before the event to maximize revenue. We can also set up automated pre-cooling.

Depth of Curtailment:

It’s hard to know how far you can take the curtailment without impacting resident comfort. We develop customized curtailment programming. This can include pre-cooling, a process where cooling is run at nearly full capacity for around 2 hours before the event, which is another benefit of our automation. If we pre-cool, we can avoid tenant issues. This is particularly important for longer events (4+ hours).

Return To Baseline:

With our automation, the system returns to its baseline within minutes of the end of the event, unlike in 2022. Also, you can see how post-event in 2023, with our automation, kW did not increase as much.

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