Abstract: This paper discusses conceptual frameworks for actively involving highly distributed loads in power system control actions. The context for load control is established by providing an overview of system control objectives, including economic dispatch, automatic generation control, and spinning reserve. The paper then reviews existing initiatives that seek to develop load control programs for the provision of power system services. We then discuss some of the challenges to achieving a load control scheme that balances device-level objectives with power system-level objectives. One of the central premises of the paper is that, in order to achieve full responsiveness, direct load control (as opposed to price response) is required to enable fast time scale, predictable control opportunities, especially for the provision of ancillary services such as regulation and contingency reserves. Centralized, hierarchical, and distributed control architectures are discussed along with benefits and disadvantages, especially in relation to integration with the legacy power system control architecture. Implications for the supporting communications infrastructure are also considered. Fully responsive load control is illustrated in the context of thermostatically controlled loads and plug-in electric vehicles.