According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 27 states and the District of Columbia have a renewable-portfolio standard—a policy requiring electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable-energy resources by a certain date—while five states have nonbinding goals for adoption of renewable energy (http://bit.ly/RPS_DSIRE). In those places, interest in demand response (DR) is growing.

DR is a set of activities to reduce or shift electricity use in response to supply conditions, with the goal of improving electric-grid reliability and managing customer electricity costs. Automation helps to improve the performance of DR programs by allowing responses to be more repeatable and reliable....