The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently launched Dynamic Energy Management (DEM), a major energy-efficiency research initiative that will begin to address the near-term needs of utilities and other stakeholders to plan, invest in, and implement technologies that facilitate the transition to a smart power delivery, operation, load management, and end-use system.

As part of the initiative, representatives from more than 35 electric utilities will meet with EPRI to create a collaborative that will address such issues as electricity savings, demand reductions, and peak load management. The goal is to improve energy efficiency by using the latest technology, thereby reducing electricity usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

The new program will focus on three key areas: analytics and information on the economic and environmental impact of dynamic energy management; infrastructure component and system testing and development; and smart, efficient end-use device and equipment development, targeting the identification and influencing the design and deployment of equipment that has the highest impact on energy efficiency and demand response.

“The DEM initiative represents a major step forward in developing an electricity system that is more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Arshad Mansoor, vice president of EPRI’s Power Delivery and Markets Sector. “We will evaluate products to determine how well they function and whether they are interoperative with utilities’ communications systems. This is a key component in creating demand response and dynamic systems that facilitate getting prices to devices.”

That assessment will require the creation of a living laboratory, a real-world demonstration project, which EPRI has agreed to host at its Knoxville, TN, research facility.

An “infrastructure” of these advanced technologies and policies to support them is necessary to fully realize the benefits of energy efficiency and energy management for both consumers and utilities.