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Mike IppolitoEMAIL INTERVIEW –  Mike Ippolito and Ken Sinclair

Mike Ippolito, Chief Product Officer Universal Devices Inc.

Mike Ippolito is the Chief Product Officer of Universal Devices of Encino, CA. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Mike’s career spans 20 years of Product Management, primarily focusing on security products and services. Founder of multiple companies, in a variety of industries, Mike brings both product and business acumen to the company.

Demand Response (DR) Using OpenADR

PG&E cuts rebates for cloud-based Demand Response programs that don’t meet new – and stranded asset requirements.

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SinclairWhat is Universal Devices role in demand response?

Ippolito:  Demand response provides an opportunity for consumers/businesses to play a significant role in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives. Universal Devices, a leader in energy management and automation devices, provides energy management platforms that comply with Title 24 and supports demand response (DR) using OpenADR.

SinclairTell me about new developments regarding cloud-based DR programs?

Ippolito:  PG&E in association with Energy Solutions just released their 2015/2016 demand-response manual (pdf) and they've made two bold statements around stranded assets and the use of cloud-assisted demand response program. Utilities have long worried about programs that depend on products and services that may cause stranded assets in the field, and PG&E has made a commitment to protect customers.

SinclairCan you explain the sections of the manual that directly impact Universal Devices?

Ippolito:  To receive the PG&E automated demand response incentive; vendors and aggregators using cloud-based equipment must now:
  1. Follow the OpenADR 2.0A or 2.0B protocol for communication regarding DR event initiation and termination between the PG&E DRAS and the cloud as well as between the cloud and the customer.
    1. Include the proper security certificate on the VEN for connection to the PG&E DRAS end-point and be able to connect to 2.0A or 2.0B.

SinclairWhat does this mean for the industry?

Ippolito:  To clarify this statement, the OpenADR protocol must be used to securely communicate from the utility to the customer site. As a result, proprietary protocols that communicate from the cloud to the Demand Response system installed at the customer site are not allowed. This specifically precludes any devices that cannot run the full OpenADR protocol locally such as OpenADR cloud-assisted thermostats.

contemporary SinclairDoes Universal Devices have a product that supports these requirements?

Ippolito:  Yes. The Universal Devices ISY994 platform, which has been designed with autonomy and independence in mind, processes all OpenADR messages completely within the gateway. Security of the protocol and messaging is guaranteed by the use of digital certificates and is certified compliant with the OpenADR protocol - end to end.

To find out more about Universal Devices ISY994 as a certified VEN for PG&E-based OpenADR please visit our website: or download the ISY944 product fact sheet (pdf).


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