Integrated Demand Side Management Connect to Value

Integrated Demand Side Management Connect to Value

Vision for Connectivity

The Consortium envisions a marketplace where both consumers and demand side managers connect to energy consuming devices through multiple pathways and open standards so that connection costs are minimized and choice for consumers and utilities is optimized. Members strives to:

  1. Establish binational consensus on specification requirements for connected and demand flexible products that yield consumer and utility benefits
  2. Build a coalition to engage industry by speaking with a single voice on the collective needs of the demand side management (DSM) industry

Connect to Value

Key components of the CEE connected strategy, illustrated below, are the connected principles for private and secure data, cooperation with relevant partners, selection of product categories, and the desired outcomes for utilities and customers.

Starting in 2012, members could see the high potential for connected devices to benefit customers, the grid, and the environment. Delivering efficiency and demand response at a specific time and place was well within the demand side management mission of CEE. With Consortium experience in developing specifications that meet utility requirements for products, systems, and structures, along with strong relationships with the manufacturers and stakeholders who make these products, CEE is uniquely poised to achieve its vision leading to new energy efficiency, demand response, and storage capability.

Translating Consensus Principles Into an IDSM Platform
Consortium consensus strategy for connected devices


CEE Consensus Principles of Connectivity

Consortium members recognized early on the necessity of clearly identifying the need for sharing data with manufacturers through secure, standardized, and accessible means. The following principles reflect attributes valued by CEE members and serve as an important precursor to development of actual specifications with associated test procedures, verification procedures, and qualified products lists.

  • Establish multiple pathways to connect to ensure most consumers can operationalize the connected products offerings. Diverse conditions encountered by CEE members—regulatory, terrain, customer density, metering infrastructure—may require a variety of communication technologies for demand response, energy efficiency, and other amenity afforded by connectivity. Consumers, too, have diverse needs; acceptable pathways must address this variety and provide flexibility. No single optional has emerged to date as sufficient for all customer needs.
  • Alternatively, a modular interface approach based on an open standard communication protocol is one option to address this diversity and provide consumers, utilities, manufacturers, and third parties with flexibility.
  • Use of open, nonproprietary, and secure communication standard(s) to achieve interoperability at the product level is required. Interoperability with multiple products and manufacturers is desirable so that customers continue to retain flexibility for future product choice across manufacturers and service providers.
  • Understand the location of connected products and maintain a direct line of sight at the distribution substation level to maximize the load management value of connected equipment. The greater a utility’s ability to know exactly where a product resides, the more potential benefit it has for load management opportunities.
  • Establish the minimum necessary communication pathways that optimize demand-side management program participation.
  • Acceptable communication pathways must secure customer data and adequately protect privacy consistent with the expectations of utility regulators.
  • Accommodate direct load control, price signals, and reliability signals (requests for curtailment). Connected products support behavior change programs based on data and variable pricing demand response programs. CEE members anticipate leveraging both dispatchable as well as non-dispatchable load management programs.
  • Connected products should be discoverable by utilities and other third parties responsible for balancing the grid and disclose their ability to accept and respond to a grid signal or equivalent consistently and reliably in a predetermined increment of time. This is particularly important for dispatchable demand response.
  • The capability for data reporting must be available directly with customers and may be available to a customer-authorized third party, subject to the consumers’ approval. CEE members especially rely on energy and demand data reporting to effectively delivery load management applications.


The flip side of an intermittent supply side is a controllable, responsive demand side. But the Consortium vision for connected devices and structures goes beyond this aspect. By anticipating the wealth of knowledge possible with new data streams, IDSM program administrators can, at minimum, improve programs and marketing, cut EM&V costs with more immediate results, understand their own operations in more detail, and improve reliability.

  • Grid Balancing and Load Management

    Connectivity may enhance product ability to contribute to a smarter grid and offset or postpone the need for new supply-side resources. While historically load followed demand, new technological advances have created the ability for demand to follow load. A connected product with a dispatchable load that can predictably shed or absorb capacity could intelligently avoid peak periods, respond to authorized demand response signals, or smooth out the impact of intermittent renewable generation resources.

  • Program EM&V Data

    Connected products can provide program administrators with more granular and timely data to measure the impact of their energy efficiency and demand response programs. Members are particularly interested in leveraging connected products to assess the persistence of savings in behavior change programs; however, many widget-based programs could benefit from infield data collection. Performance data collected on a frequent basis, for example, 15-minute intervals, can also provide important information about energy savings opportunities within the home that further informs program design and offerings.

  • Enhanced Customer Engagement

    Connected products that offer predictable energy information via open communication pathways have the potential to support engagement platforms offered by CEE members or their partners. This may include efforts to better understand and serve customer segments through the development of targeted DSM programs.

  • Integrated DSM Program Offerings

    DSM programs are becoming more integrated in the sense that multiple products are coming together in a shared space and providing different benefits, but also in terms of overall objectives. Connected technology allows further integration of efficiency, load management, and behavioral elements from the perspective of program design and impact claims. CEE is currently looking at opportunities to advance residential energy savings associated with the integrated home, which leverages opportunities beyond individual widgets and end measures. It hinges on communicating capabilities to create new levels of data, learning, comfort, and control.

Customer Benefits

CEE is identifying the connected functionality and information that may help members achieve their demand side goals and increase customer satisfaction. By defining the minimum set of capabilities and data points effective across service territories, portfolios will be better positioned to meet the evolving needs of both programs and customers.

  • Financial savings

    Through new energy efficiency and demand response opportunities, connected products can provide actionable information that compels energy saving behaviors and empowers customers to manage their energy use, including the ability to adapt consumption in response to higher energy prices.

  • Customer satisfaction

    CEE members continue to ramp up efforts to satisfy their customers. Better data and insights can help program administrators customize and endorse the right connected products for individual customers.

  • New non-energy benefits

    CEE members have the opportunity to better serve their customers by identifying connected products that provide new amenity in a consistent, credible manner. Carefully screened connected products can provide remote control, enhanced comfort and convenience, timely diagnostic information, data security, and enhanced customer engagement.

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