ASHRAE has announced a new online course covering building demand response and the upcoming smart grid. According to ASHRAE, peak demand management and response is a critical factor as most developed countries move toward a national smart grid, which will help provide a reliable and secure infrastructure that can meet future demand growth as well as more effectively integrate distributed renewable energy systems from photovoltaics and wind power.

“Peak demand management and response are becoming more important in building systems and their control,” said Tom Lawrence, course instructor. “While demand management may not have much impact on the individual building total energy use, it may well be an effective tool for cost savings on electric utility bills. It also is vital for overall societal energy and environmental management. Thus, the considerations go beyond just one building’s energy cost and utilization.”

A new ASHRAE Learning Institute course, “Building Demand Response and the Coming Smart Grid,” will address new technologies and design concepts that are leading the way to how buildings and their systems will interact with a coming smart electrical grid. The course is part of the ALI Fall Online series.

Demand response is the process a building, industry, or residential electric consumer would use to reduce electricity use during peak demand periods on the electric grid. Lawrence points out that examples for demand response measures include changing set points for building air conditioning or chilled water systems, reduction in unnecessary lighting, selectively shutting off plug loads not currently in use, etc.

Lawrence also noted that ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” includes a requirement that the building be designed to have the capability of reducing peak electrical demand through active controls or other load-shifting measures by 10% of the building’s projected peak demand. Similar requirements or incentives for demand response management are contained in the International Green Construction Code and with the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program.

The course takes place Sept. 29.  For registration costs and to register, visit