What is a Demand Response Program in Multifamily?
Several electricity transmission towers in front of a sunset

Have you ever heard of a “demand response program” before while learning about energy efficiency and sustainability in multifamily?

What is demand response?

Demand response programs (sometimes referred to as DR) support energy efficiency through changing the amount and timing for the demand for energy. During peak use hours or seasons, typically during the hot summer season (and sometimes freezing winter days), the power grid can have difficulty providing all of the energy that customers need. Climate change contributes greatly to the more extreme temperatures and weather conditions, which cause strains on the power grid.

Demand response programs can shift the amount and time of energy demand from customers (whether they are residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial) who voluntarily opt in. This strategy allows customers to receive notice before forecasted peak usage hours (referred to as an “event”) and their thermostat, water heater, or other equipment would automatically adjust. Customers can also typically choose to opt out of an event.

What’s the benefit of demand response?

Why would a customer want to join a demand response program? Customers can receive incentives in the form of cash payment, bill credit, or other means. Some demand response programs are managed by utilities providers, while independent commercial entities can also offer programs. Customers who are a part of larger groups like for multifamily buildings can generate revenue by reducing peak electricity demand.

Below are some examples from utilities providers with demand response programs:

A majority of multifamily residents are concerned about climate change and want to be a part of the solution, such as through sustainable living. According to AMLI Residential’s Sustainable Living Index for 2019, a survey conducted with more than 3,500 AMLI Residential apartment residents, 89% of AMLI residents are concerned about climate change, and more than 70% said their desire to find a solution has increased over the last five years. In addition, 80% of residents said they believe living in a green apartment is beneficial to their health, and more than 61% said they would be willing to pay more for a sustainable community.

Sustainable development generally includes:

  • community green initiatives (like robust recycling programs)
  • energy efficient infrastructure (like smart thermostats, leak sensors, HVAC, and more)
  • water waste prevention measures

Demand response programs in multifamily can also be a part of this.

STRATIS is conducting groundbreaking research through the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator. Installing smart and connected devices allows energy providers and customers to understand and enable energy efficiency and revenue generation at scale.

Want to learn more about multifamily sustainability? Join RealPage experts Mary Nitschke and Felicite Moorman as they discuss STRATIS Smart Building Sustainable Smart Solutions on this webcast video.


STRATIS®, a RealPage Company, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. STRATIS is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America. STRATIS now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well. STRATIS is an Inc. Magazine “Fastest Growing Company in America” and a Top Ten Entrepreneur Magazine “Best Company in America.” STRATIS was recently acquired by RealPage to enable STRATIS Smart Building, a more connected lifestyle, and unleash hidden yield through new revenue streams.

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