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California Building Code to Drive Demand Response

Demand response infrastructure is poised to get a significant boost in California. Starting in June 2014, California’s building code will require every new or retrofit thermostat, HVAC system, networked lighting controller, and building automation system to be capable of two-way, automated communication.

Key Details

  • California ISO’s current demand response products were found to rely heavily on a “utility-centric model of program delivery“
  • This required technology deployment is expected to improve non-utility offerings and participation through market mechanisms
  • OpenADR, an open-source protocol developed by the California Energy Commission and Berkley Labs, is expected to be a popular platform and a driver of innovation and new business


A challenge facing demand response is the installation of infrastructure capable of two-way communication. The new building code requirement removes this barrier by ensuring demand response technology is in all new and retrofitted buildings. The proliferation of this technology is expected to grow demand response in California and encourage participation from third-party providers.

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This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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