U.S. Green Building Council and Environmental Defense Fund launch demand response partnership program

October 7, 2011


Mica Odom, Environmental Defense Fund, 512-691-8453, modom@edf.org
Ashley Katz, U.S. Green Building Council, 202-742-3738, akatz@usgbc.org
Nancy Young, Skipping Stone, 832-279-3029, nyoung@skippingstone.com

TORONTO – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) yesterday announced the launch of the Demand Response Partnership Program (DR Partnership Program). The DR Partnership Program will reach thousands of commercial buildings to educate, promote and drive participation in demand response programs. Through the program, USGBC & EDF will partner with selected utilities, solution providers and program sponsors to work together on this groundbreaking initiative. The program was announced at USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, taking place this week in Toronto.

“There is no doubt that without demand response this past summer that our nation’s electric grid could have experienced significant stresses costing the economy untold billions of dollars,” said Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). “To meet our future grid reliability needs, we need the commercial sector to actively participate in demand response programs.”

The DR Partnership Program will use USGBC’s newly revised LEED Demand Response credit as an implementation guideline and leverage its relationships with the building community to foster adoption and participation in existing utility and solution provider demand response offerings.

“This is an important initiative for USGBC as we expand our horizons,” said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED, USGBC. “One of the key goals of this program is to engage the building and energy communities to figure out how to achieve common goals for smart grid, sustainability and electric system reliability.” Utilizing the knowledge and information derived from commercial building participation and participating partners, the DR Partnership will include a robust market and environmental research agenda. EDF will lead research efforts to measure and verify the environmental benefits of demand response.

“We believe that demand response is both environmentally beneficial and key to increasing renewable generation,” said Elgie Holstein, EDF’s Senior Director for Strategic Planning. “The DR Partnership Program presents a unique opportunity to measure and assess that premise.”

Case studies and benchmark implementation best practices are being developed. Also being developed are technologies that address building, utility and solution provider adoption methodologies to facilitate improvements in DR programs and business practices. Results of these efforts will be made available to program partners and sponsors, and eventually published.

USGBC has retained Skipping Stone, an energy consulting firm, to provide project management and program resources to work with the partners and sponsors.

USGBC and EDF are currently in the process of selecting utility and solution provider partners to participate in the DR Partnership Program. Interested parties should contact Brendan Owens at bowens@usgbc.org or Ross Malme at rmalme@skippingstone.com. To learn more about the DR Partnership Program, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.