Sep 3, 2016

Impacts of Office Plug Load Reduction Strategies

Christopher Plum, Nicole Kessler

Plug load energy used by everything from computers to water coolers represents a relatively untapped energy savings resource in commercial buildings. And these loads, defined as all electric end uses that are not HVAC, lighting, or DHW, are increasing (CBECS 2016). This is especially true in contrast to other end uses. There is a need for those in the commercial buildings industry to both identify and quantify strategies for reducing these loads.

Seventhwave [Now known as Slipstream], along with the Center for Energy and Environment and LHB completed a field research study to demonstrate and measure the savings from potential plug load reduction strategies in office buildings. We also characterized the types of devices and baseline usage in those offices, and documented occupant acceptance, operational issues, and cost-effectiveness of reduction strategies. We used what we learned to identify actions that utilities and policy makers could take, including increasing the impact of these strategies in Conservation Improvement Programs (CIPs) in Minnesota. We also put plug loads into context and established some best practices for building designers and operators

Read more about this research on the project page.