IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.64, No.5, 1974-1988, 2019
A Contract Design Approach for Phantom Demand Response
We design an optimal contract between a demand response aggregator (DRA) and power grid customers for incentive-based demand response. We consider a setting in which the customers are asked to reduce their electricity consumption by the DRA and they are compensated for this demand curtailment. However, given that the DRA must supply every customer with as much power as she desires, a strategic customer can temporarily increase her base load in order to report a larger reduction as part of the demand response event. The DRA wishes to incentivize the customers both to make costly effort to reduce load and to not falsify the reported load reduction. We model this problem as a contract design problem and present a solution. The proposed contract consists of two parts: a part that depends on (the possibly inflated) load reduction as measured by the DRA and another that provides a share of the profit that accrues to the DRA through the demand response event to the customers. Since this profit accrues due to the total load reduction because of the actions taken by all the customers, the interaction among the customers also needs to be carefully included in the contract design. The contract design and its properties are presented and illustrated through examples.