Data-driven key performance indicators and datasets for building energy flexibility: A review and perspectives

Han Li, Hicham Johra, Flavia de Andrade Pereira, Tianzhen Hong, Jérôme Le Dréau, Anthony Maturo, Mingjun Wei, Yapan Liu, Ali Saberi-Derakhtenjani, Zoltan Nagy, Anna Marszal-Pomianowska, Donal Finn, Shohei Miyata, Kathryn Kaspar, Kingsley Nweye, Zheng O'Neill, Fabiano Pallonetto, Bing Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Energy flexibility, through short-term demand-side management (DSM) and energy storage technologies, is now seen as a major key to balancing the fluctuating supply in different energy grids with the energy demand of buildings. This is especially important when considering the intermittent nature of ever-growing renewable energy production, as well as the increasing dynamics of electricity demand in buildings. This paper provides a holistic review of (1) data-driven energy flexibility key performance indicators (KPIs) for buildings in the operational phase and (2) open datasets that can be used for testing energy flexibility KPIs. The review identifies a total of 48 data-driven energy flexibility KPIs from 87 recent and relevant publications. These KPIs were categorized and analyzed according to their type, complexity, scope, key stakeholders, data requirement, baseline requirement, resolution, and popularity. Moreover, 330 building datasets were collected and evaluated. Of those, 16 were deemed adequate to feature building performing demand response or building-to-grid (B2G) services. The DSM strategy, building scope, grid type, control strategy, needed data features, and usability of these selected 16 datasets were analyzed. This review reveals future opportunities to address limitations in the existing literature: (1) developing new data-driven methodologies to specifically evaluate different energy flexibility strategies and B2G services of existing buildings; (2) developing baseline-free KPIs that could be calculated from easily accessible building sensors and meter data; (3) devoting non-engineering efforts to promote building energy flexibility, standardizing data-driven energy flexibility quantification and verification processes; and (4) curating and analyzing datasets with proper description for energy flexibility assessm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121217
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • Building energy flexibility
  • Building-to-grid service
  • Demand response
  • Demand response datasets
  • Demand-side management
  • Key performance indicator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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