Increased Load Shift with Enhanced Demand Response and Emerson

By Emilie Tullis on

Relaxing at home with heat pump

Unlike other Demand Response (DR) aggregators, Uplight’s Orchestrated Energy has two methods available for achieving load-shift on thermostats during DR events: OEM DR and Enhanced DR.

OEM DR is the method all DR aggregators use. For this category, Uplight sends a signal to device providers like Nest and Ecobee to adjust setpoints on thermostats on the aggregator’s behalf to achieve load shift. Unique to Uplight, enhanced DR uses Uplight’s patented algorithms to mathematically solve for the optimal control schedule on a thermostat. 

In 2021 Uplight has run Enhanced DR on Emerson Sensi thermostats and OEM DR on other thermostats due to API limitations. This has allowed us to have a head-to-head comparison of these two different dispatch approaches at scale within the same programs, and across climatic and programmatic different scenarios throughout North America.

In summer 2021, Uplight ran 83 events for our clients, resulting in up to 1.4 kW of per-device load shift. Following each of these events we’ve continued to make enhancements to both the dispatch approach (which increases load shift) as well as the customer comfort model (which reduces overrides). And we are pretty chuffed with the results we’ve seen. So far, we’ve seen that Uplight’s Enhanced DR on Emerson Sensi is delivering on average over 1.5x better per device kW load shift compared to OEM DR across other thermostat brands. 

While Emerson Sensi devices are only a subset of the total devices we managed, the aggregate result is greater load shift compared to the same number of customers using the OEM DR only approach of our competitors.

This means our clients are able to achieve greater cost effectiveness – as they require only ⅔ the number of customers to achieve the same load shift. As the role and importance of demand flexibility increases in the coming years with the decarbonization of the electricity grid, Uplight believes that these enhancements to how we dispatch DR events will only increase in significance as well.


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