Connected Communities: A Multibuilding Energy Management Approach

Victor Olgyay, Seth Coan, Brett Webster, William Livingood

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Connected Communities (CCs) are collections of buildings and distributed energy resources (DERs) that incorporate integrated energy management strategies at the multi-building scale. Based on the research conducted for this report, RMI and NREL have identified examples of CCs that are enabling increasingly integrated solutions, sharing resources among buildings, and providing services back to the grid. As demonstrated by these examples, CCs can provide real and scalable solutions to mitigate energy costs, enable more flexibility in grid operations, and offer choices in meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals. Nationwide examples of these solutions are included in the appendix of this report.In order to understand the most promising practices for the design, operation, and business models associated with CCs, a search was performed to create a nationwide inventory of CCs and multiple stakeholder interviews were conducted. Based on that research, this paper explores the many factors that influence the development and operation of CCs and evaluates their potential value.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages70
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-75528


  • buildings
  • connected communities
  • distributed energy resources
  • smart communities


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