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Increasing electricity demand and upcoming shortages of resources, make on-line energy management like peak-load reduction and control energy provision by the demand side of the electric power system a valuable method for keeping the grid stable and efficient. For developing the next generation if these methods, a simulation environment for studying demand response (DR) algorithms with large-scale and detailed grid simulations is currently developed. An important part of this is an accurate but computationally inexpensive dynamic model for domestic housing and small business loads. This paper presents the design of this model and the deduction of the model parameters. As a determining factor for domestic loads, the power consumption of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems has been identified. The model is partly based on earlier proposals that simulate the state changes of thermostatically controlled processes, but the complexity is further reduced to an absolute minimum. The result can be used as one of the basic building blocks required to set up a comprehensive simulation of power consumption in electric power grids under DR conditions.