PowerDirect® Automated Demand Response Program

Use electricity more efficiently and get paid by SMUD.

Run your business more efficiently by integrating automated response capabilities into your energy management, lighting and HVAC systems. This technology automatically scales back your energy use when demand for electricity is at its peak. Receive up to $175/kW of automated energy reduction, or qualify for incentives that will offset up to 100% of the PowerDirect technology and equipment cost.


  • Enhance your energy performance and get paid for it.
  • Increase your bottom line as you save electricity.
  • Improve system performance and productivity.
  • Comply more easily with corporate energy efficiency and emission reduction goals and requirements.
  • Manage automatically: systems scale back during peak hours on Conservation Days with the flexibility to choose how they’re scaled back.


  • $10.00/kW per month for 1-year commitment
  • We give incentives for installing the automation systems and equipment. Learn more with our technology specifications and FAQs.


  • Reduce your energy consumption for a minimum of 2 consecutive hours during peak times.
  • Achieve a minimum 50% of the load reduction goal each hour on at least 8 Conservation Days from June 1 through September 30.
  • The minimum load reduction needed to participate is 50kW and 5% of peak period demand.

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PowerDirect Team

Once the technology is installed, the systems will automatically scale back energy use when demand for electricity is highest. You have the flexibility to choose how your facility will respond, tailored to your business operations.


  • Between June 1 and September 30, 8 to 12 Conservation Day events will occur during peak hours from 2-6 p.m. weekdays
  • Events last between 1-4 hours
  • Notifications are sent to you either the day before or the day of the event, at least 30 minutes prior to the event
  • Events lasting 2 hours or less may be tested more than once per day
  • Events longer than 2 hours are limited to a maximum of 3 consecutive days within a 14-day period
  • A maximum of 12 Conservation Day events longer than 2 hours will occur
  • There’s no limit on consecutive days with events lasting 2 hours or less

We're here to fully support your client development and testing, working directly with your contractors and vendors as necessary. We'll partner with you to set up, configure and implement your systems right down to coordinating and executing test events. Email us or call 916-732-6950 if you need detailed technical information or assistance.

Automated Demand Response (ADR) is used extensively by utilities as a consistent, dependable and cost-effective alternative to shut down in response to peak hour price spikes or emergencies.

You’re invited to participate if you have the following:

  • OpenADR client that maintains communication with SMUD's Demand Response Management System (DRMS)
  • Connection to an ADR-enabled facility control system
  • Hardware client
  • Software client
  • Facility control system
  • Client communication
  • Client compatibility

Hardware clientAn OpenADR-enabled device that communicates with the DRMS and the facility's energy management system, lighting, HVAC or other control system. It's typically connected to the control system by an electrical "dry" (no current or no mercury) contact or other output wired to the system. Advanced lighting controls and other devices that can communicate directly with the DRMS also qualify as hardware clients.

Please note that SMUD does not endorse any particular product or manufacturer and that the following are provided only as examples.

Software clientA software driver installed inside the facility control system server or energy management system, usually accessible at a supervisory level and connected to the control system through an internal system network, Ethernet and/or external networks. Software clients are customized to the operating platform where they're installed. Examples include Tridium (AX Supervisor and JACE), McKinstry Enterprise Energy Management (EEM), Automated Logic and Siemens.

Facility control system: A system designed with digital controls and special programming that enables the hardware or software client to interpret the OpenADR signals. These signals trigger pre-programmed control strategies that reduce electrical load when required.

  • Temperature reset (increasing cooling setpoints by two or more degrees)
  • Lighting control (dimming or shutting off non-essential lighting, allowing the facility to operate normally)
  • Ventilation control (reducing fan speeds, changing static pressure setpoints, controlling CO2 sensor setpoints)
  • Miscellaneous equipment

Client communication and compatibilityThe clients communicate with the SEEload DRMS via SSL and https over the Internet, using either the ReST or SOAP method. They're configured to "poll" the DRMS at least once per minute, retrieving energy event information including time, date, event status and event mode. Occasionally, there may be compatibility issues with DRMS, due to differences among the implementations of OpenADR 2.0a. Please contact the PowerDirect team for technical documentation on the SEEload DRMS AutoDR interface and guidance on hardware and software clients.

Thanks to the support of our PowerDirect® business partners, we are able to maintain reliable power for all customers. By volunteering to curtail their energy use when requested, our PowerDirect® partners helped stabilize the power grid and avoid outages.

  • Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
  • Gridpoint
  • Hines 
  • Carmichael Water
  • Teichert 
  • California ISO
  • CSUS
  • California Department of General Services
  • Arden Fair Mall 
  • CalPERS 

Last year publication 

  • Bank of the West Tower at 500 Capitol Mall 
  • Cal EPA Headquarters Building 
  • California American Water  
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Sacramento City Unified School District
  • United States Cold Storage of CA 

New customers

  • Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.
  • Walmart
  • 300 Capitol Mall Investors