Navigant Research Blog

Automated Demand Response Draws Vendors of All Stripes

Brett Feldman — March 10, 2014

Automated demand response (ADR) technology was pervasive at the recent DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio, as vendors from all sides of the utility spectrum are looking to get a piece of the DR pie and extract more value out of their core offerings.  Companies that focus on utility operational systems want to incorporate DR management, while those that specialize in customer energy management want to move up the value chain and offer utilities full service customer DR programs.  Metering companies want to show the benefit of their hardware and data to provide smarter DR, and pure-play DR providers want to protect their territory and expand in both of the other directions as well.

There were also some interesting press releases related to ADR in conjunction with DistribuTECH. AutoGrid announced a new $12.75 million investment round led by German utility E.ON.  This funding will support AutoGrid’s customer growth, including international expansion.  It will also allow the company to develop new applications for its Energy Data Platform software, which provides predictive analytics for big data and automated control for DR purposes.

Comverge released a new suite of IntelliSOURCE advanced applications for demand management optimization. The main component is a machine learning system that utilized big data analytics and two-way device telemetry to improve forecasting capabilities.  This gives utilities the ability to transform DR from a mostly emergency resource to a real-time operational resource that facilitates renewable energy integration and supply management.  Called Demand Response Optimization, the engine can determine the most cost-effective assets for a utility to deploy, taking customer and environmental factors into account.

Worldwide Growth

EnerNOC introduced a new utility DR product called Demand Manager, which is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides utilities and retail electric providers with the tools to manage their DR programs.  Unlike the typical model, where EnerNOC provides a turnkey, fully outsourced program management service, Demand Manager allows utilities to buy software and professional services if that’s what they prefer.  The offering includes a data-integration application programming interface (API) that allows EnerNOC’s software to integrate with utility interval meters, thereby leveraging smart meter investments.

I have also heard from several utilities recently that they are looking to procure new demand response management systems in order to initiate ADR programs in addition to or in place of their existing manual or direct load control programs, so activity appears to be heating up on both the vendor and customer sides of the equation.

In my recent report on ADR, I forecast that the number of ADR-equipped sites worldwide will grow from fewer than 217,000 in 2014 to more than 1.9 million by 2023.  The report, Automated Demand Response, examines the global ADR market with a focus on two key sectors: C&I and residential.  Along with global market forecasts, the study provides an analysis of the market drivers and challenges, as well as the key technologies, related to ADR.

The full scope of ADR technology and the ADR market landscape will be covered in our upcoming webinar, Automated Demand Response, which will take place March 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm EDT.  Click here to register.

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