Media: Sustainable: Reducing the energy waste of 'plugload' (Finance & Commerce)

Jan 3, 2017

From Finance & Commerce:

Walk around any office and it’s hard not to notice how many devices are plugged into electric outlets. Desktops routinely have two monitors, a computer and phone along with smartphones and iPads.
Welcome to the world of what researchers and energy experts call “plug load.” It’s become one of the fastest growing areas of energy consumption in offices as the number of devices grows, said Rick Carter, vice president of LHB Inc., an architecture and engineering company in Minneapolis.

PlugLoad3.jpgIn the 1970s plug load was 1 or 2 percent of an office’s energy load; today the figure has jumped to 20 to 25 percent. “The biggest part of the problem is no one is aware of it,” Carter said. “It’s just this thing out there that people feel they can’t control.”

LHB recently completed an extensive and nation-leading study of plug load along with Madison, Wisconsin-based Seventhwave and the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) in Minneapolis. Funded by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the study offered strategies for reducing plug-load consumption, along with case studies on how those were implemented in eight office in Minnesota...

...Christopher Plum, operations and contracts manager with CEE, said the study took 40 sets of equipment to eight offices. First, meters were installed under employees’ desks to capture their energy consumption for one month. Then energy-saving equipment was installed for a month, offering researchers a chance to see improvements, he said...

Read the full story at Finance & Commerce

Related Links
Final Report: Impacts of Office Plug Load Reduction Strategies
Commercial Building Plug Load Energy Reduction Strategies