Report released: Impacts of office plug load reduction strategies

Nov 28, 2016

plugload-tools.jpgPlug loads represent the nation's fastest growing energy use in commercial buildings, projected to grow by 40 percent from 2006 to 2020. Since 2015, CEE researchers Christopher Plum and Nicole Kessler have collaborated with project lead Scott Hackel's team at Seventhwave and Maureen Colburn's team at LHB to demonstrate and measure the success and savings of five plug load reduction strategies in office buildings — both at individual work stations and in common areas. 

Results from the collaborative study shows that computer power management offers the most energy-saving potential at individual workstations, with an average savings of 106 kilowatt-hours (29%) during the study. Augmenting a simple plug load reduction device with additional behavioral tactics further increased energy savings by 50 kilowatt-hours, suggesting the high value of more innovative, behavior-based program approaches. To successfully ensure savings and employee satisfaction, the group also emphasizes the need for a strong relationship with office IT staff as well as clear messaging for individual users. 

This project was supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program, which is funded by Minnesota ratepayers. 

Related Links
Impacts of Office Plug Load Reduction Strategies (final report)
Plug Load project page at Seventhwave
Plug Load project page at CEE
Plug Load project factsheet, Seventhwave
Plug Load project webinar (archive), November 2016