The Active Demand Response (ADR), integrated with the distributed energy generation and storage systems, is the most common strategy for the optimization of energy consumption and indoor comfort in buildings, considering the energy availability and the balancing of the energy production from renewable sources. In the paper an overview of basic requirements and applications of ADR management is presented. Specifically, the model predictive control (MPC) adopted in several applications as optimal control strategy in the ADR buildings context is analysed. Finally the research experience of the authors in this context is described. © 2015 The Authors.Published by Elsevier Ltd.