OCHRE: Object-Oriented Controllable High-Resolution Residential Energy Model

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Emerging technologies in residential buildings are changing the nature of energy consumption and creating opportunities for demand flexibility. To study these opportunities, NREL has created the Object-oriented Controllable High-resolution Residential Energy (OCHRE™) model.

Residential buildings are experiencing rapid changes in many demand-side technologies, including energy-efficient heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and energy storage systems. These devices are often equipped with cloud-connected controllers that can adjust the quantity and timing of energy consumption. This control presents a unique opportunity for residential customers to save on energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and improve electric grid operations. OCHRE can simulate a variety of control methods, in individual homes and at scale, to quantify these benefits and impacts. OCHRE uses detailed thermal and electrical modeling of residential end-use loads and the building envelope and integrates with grid simulators, device controllers, and aggregators.

Researchers at NREL have used OCHRE to perform high-resolution time-series co-simulation of thousands of buildings connected to the grid simultaneously, enabling the control and aggregation of tens of thousands of distributed energy resources and end-use devices. OCHRE allows NREL to answer pressing questions about the impacts of emerging demand-side technologies on the grid, including their ability to provide grid services and to enable the integration of renewable resources.

OCHRE is now open source.
Access OCHRE.


  • Model end-use loads and building-sited distributed energy resources such as smart HVAC equipment and thermostats, water heaters, electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and energy storage
  • Model the building thermal envelope and interactions between electrical and thermal loads at high resolution
  • Examine the impacts of novel control strategies on building energy consumption and occupant comfort
  • Perform scalable building-grid cosimulation with a diverse representative sample of residential buildings
  • Leverage capabilities from NREL's established modeling tools, including EnergyPlus™, BEopt™, ResStock™, SAM, and EVI-Pro


The Impact of Energy-Efficiency Upgrades and Other Distributed Energy Resources on a Residential Neighborhood-scale Electrification RetrofitApplied Energy (2023)

Home Energy Management Under Realistic and Uncertain Conditions: A Comparison of Heuristic, Deterministic, and Stochastic Control Methods, Applied Energy (2022)

Savings in Action: Lessons From Observed and Modeled Residential Solar Plus Storage Systems, NREL Technical Report, (2022)

OCHRE: The Object-oriented, Controllable, High-resolution Residential Energy Model for Dynamic Integration StudiesApplied Energy (2021)


Jeff Maguire

Building Modeling Lead


Michael Blonsky

Distributed Energy Resource and Controls Lead