Occupancy-Based Controls for an All-Electric Residential Community in a Cold Climate: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In residential buildings, rapid improvements in sensors, communication, and information technology have enabled occupancy-based building controls. These controls utilize occupancy information and modify the operation of the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to minimize excess HVAC energy use, especially when the building is unoccupied. This reduces the total building energy consumption and utility bills while maintaining thermal comfort. In this paper, we present two novel occupancy-driven controls - reactive control and predictive control - and compare their performance. We model an all-electric residential community based on a 27- home community in Basalt, Colorado, in the United States. We simulated various scenarios, considering different temperature setback and control algorithms, to analyze the community-scale impact of these occupancy-based controls. The results show that total HVAC energy savings in a building ranges from 1%- 20% compared to the baseline scenario without occupancy-based controls. The energy-saving potential is highly correlated with the occupancy pattern and temperature setback in the building.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 17 Jul 202221 Jul 2022


Conference2022 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5500-84974 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-81431


  • energy management
  • occupancy-driven controls
  • predictive control
  • reactive control
  • residential community


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