OpenADR Introduction and Overview

OpenADR 2 is a modern Internet of Things standard that can be used for demand response (DR) applications as well as EV managed charging and inverter-based DER management. 

OpenADR 2.0 is a client server model with its own nomenclature:
The Virtual Top Node (VTN) is the OpenADR server
The Virtual End Node (VEN) is the OpenADR client.
Currently, there are two OpenADR certification profiles: OpenADR 2.0a is a simplified set of capabilities for simple demand response programs (adopted in 2012) while OpenADR 2.0b is a more robust profile that supports more sophisticated DR programs, adopted in 2013.

The OpenADR 2.0 Profile is a subset of the OASIS Energy Interoperation Version 1.0 standard (EI), adopted in June 2014.  (If you are wondering about the dates, the OpenADR Profile was incorporated into the OASIS EI).

In January of 2019, OpenADR was adopted as IEC 62746-10-1 ED1.   This has increased interest in OpenADR throughout the world.
OpenADR is designed around a model that assumes some intelligent intermediary between the grid operator and the actual devices and systems responding to a DR event.  This could be a building energy management system, an aggregator, a cloud or local gateway, etc.  The intermediary exchanges OpenADR messages with the grid operator but then determines which of its assets will be used to respond to a DR event.  Messages between the intermediary and the end devices is typically in a vendor proprietary protocol or inter-building-oriented protocols like BacNet or LonWorks.

The standard was designed in the 2000’s specifically to automate DR programs between utilities and larger C&I customers.  However, the standard itself and its parent EI support both positive and negative demand changes and is being used for managing storage systems and EV charging to both store energy and discharge it into the grid or for local use.   In theory, OpenADR can also support more sophisticated DER and transactive energy but is not currently being used for either.
A good summary of the early history of OpenADR is in Wikipedia at Open Automated Demand Response. The article seems to have been last updated in 2016 so some of the material is dated.  

Protocol Management
Although a subset of OASIS Energy Interop v1.0, OpenADR should be considered an international standard in its own right since adoption by the IEC.  OpenADR is managed by the OpenADR Alliance, founded in 2010 by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern CA Edison, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Honeywell and a few other committed stakeholders.  It developed and published the OpenADR 2.0a and 2.0b Profiles and Test Specifications in 2012 and 2013, respectively.  An OpenADR official test harness was developed by QualityLogic and was available to certification and pre-certification testing starting in 2013.

The OpenADR Alliance currently has over 130 members and over 220 certified products from the same number of companies.

OpenADR is currently mandated in certain circumstances in CA Title 24 (the state building code) and has been adopted by utilities in N America, Japan, S Korea, the EU and most everyplace else in the world.  There is a database of 34 pilots or deployments on the OpenADR website at but the entries are outdated, and we do not think it represents an accurate picture of all the entities planning or deploying OpenADR.   To our knowledge there is not a current database of this information.