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In this paper, the authors analyze the impact of the participation of customers to the sustainable implementation of energy rational strategies in microgrids. The management of shiftable loads is compared to the control of real and reactive storage systems in smart grids. An optimization algorithm is used as analysis tool to assess the impact of such control variables in different conditions. The results clearly indicate that if shiftable loads are of suitable size, they have a more promising as tools to both reduce losses and to flatten the peak load through the HV/MV bus. Many tests have been carried out on a real experimental MV system in the area of Rome Italy.