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. We’ll make the decision easy with up to $125/kW of automated energy reduction, or 100% of the PowerDirect project 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


  • $5.00/kW per month for 1-year commitment
  • we give incentives for installing the automation systems and equipment; see our Technology Overview and FAQs to learn more


  • 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 between June 1 and Sep. 30

For small and mid-sized businesses looking to enroll in an Automated Demand Response program or other upgrade bundles, please visit our Complete Energy Solutions program.

Download brochure   Download procedures manual   Statement of interest

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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. This goes into effect only during peak hours (2 - 6 p.m. weekdays) on a minimum of 8 to 12 Conservation Days, from June 1 through September 30. 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 PM 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 frequently 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


  • Reduce energy consumption for at least 2 consecutive hours during peak hours
  • Achieve a minimum 50% of the load reduction goal each hour on Conservation Days


  • You’ll receive an incentive of $5.00/kW per month in return for a one-year commitment

AutoDR 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 AutoDR-enabled facility control system
  • Hardware client
  • Software client
  • Facility controls system
  • Client communication
  • Client compatibility


Hardware client: an 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 client a 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 compatibility:  the 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.

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. Please let us know if you need detailed technical information or assistance.

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