Schneider Electric and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are collaborating to enhance the current demand response credit for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The energy management company and federally funded lab, along with energy strategy consultant Skipping Stone, are developing the credit to allow commercial building owners to earn LEED points for participating in utility or wholesale market demand response programs. Skipping Stone will also provide members of LEED certifier the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with a searchable, national database of existing demand response programs.
USGBC will launch a series of utility service territory pilots, to encourage adoption of demand response and the revised LEED credit. Skipping Stone will manage these pilots, and will coordinate with potential participating utilities, market operators, regulators, technology and service providers and other interested parties.
The revised credit will be published later this spring. After feedback from participating building managers and the collection of market research results, it will then be considered for integration into the Energy and Atmosphere category of the next version of the LEED rating system. LEED 2012 is due to be published in November.
“Demand response” refers to programs or incentives that allow electricity customers to respond to prices as they change over time on a daily or hourly basis. These methods can include utilities offering rates that reflect the variation in electricity costs over time, or incentives to reduce the electric load at peak times.
“Demand response is a new path for USGBC and critical to the building communities’ involvement in the smart grid,” USGBC Chairman Mark MacCracken said.
USGBC vice president for LEED technical development Brendan Owens added: “Demand response is unique in comparison to other LEED credits as it requires coordination with the utility and wholesale markets. By bringing this team of experts from the energy and building communities together, USGBC will benefit from the combined expertise.”
A recent survey found that nine out of ten utility executives expect that budgets for energy efficiency resources will increase by at least ten percent in 2011, and demand response systems seem poised to be a big part of that. “In fact, the increasing importance placed on energy efficiency is part of a broader shift in focus from supply to demand side technologies,” said R. Blake Young, president and CEO of energy management program vendor Converge, which conducted the survey.
“While this survey shows there is still uncertainty around some aspects of the smart grid, I can say with confidence that 2011 will be another huge year for energy efficiency and related programs like demand response,” he added.
Pike Research has also predicted that demand response will take a more prominent role in smart-grid deployments in 2011.