Commercial Building Plug Load
Control with Smart Plugs

Through intelligent scheduling of device off times to match periods when the equipment is not utilized or when the building is unoccupied, facilities are able to achieve significant energy savings with simple paybacks of under one year for deployment of Smart Plugs.

Smart Plugs Reduce Energy Consumption

Equipment connected to building receptacles draw a considerable amount of power, often on a 24×7 basis. Based on US Department of Energy estimates, this “plug load” accounts for approximately 25% of the electricity used within commercial buildings. The BOSS Smart Plug family of products is designed to address this opportunity to enable energy and operational savings. Utilization of Smart Plugs enables the management, monitoring, and control of end use devices including: computers, copiers, printers, water coolers, water fountains, vending machines and window A/C units.

By leveraging existing network infrastructure, the BOSS Smart Plugs family enables centralized monitoring and control of the connected devices via standard web browsers and mobile applications. Furthermore, the connected Smart Plugs provide a means to support advanced applications including demand response and peak load management.

This case study provides comprehensive information on achieving over 53% energy and electricity expenditure reduction by utilizing the BOSS Smart Plugs.

What we did

BOSS Controls and its partnership team of energy service companies (ESCOs), building operators, and service companies engaged a variety of commercial facilities for field trial. The selected facilities are dispersed over a wide geographic with a variety of building types including commercial office high rise, small commercial campus, and light industrial. Within those facilities the BOSS team selected a variety of plug loads including: copiers and printers, water coolers and water fountains, coffee pots, and vending machines. The BOSS Smart Plugs have integrated power measurement and reporting capabilities which simplified the data collection and reporting.

The Smart Plugs were installed and connected to those devices to collect baseline data for a minimum period of 14 days.

After the baseline data collection period, schedules were implemented to turn the devices off during unoccupied periods. These unoccupied periods were typically weekdays before 6:00 AM, weekdays after 6:00 PM, and during weekends.The Smart Plugs were run with the implemented schedule for a minimum of 14 days to measure and validate the energy savings.

Top Usage Devices


Soda and Snack Machines

Coffee Pots

Desktop Computers

Demonstrated Results

The program demonstrated the following key results:

  • Schedule-based control has substantial energy savings.

    Use of schedule-based shutdown during unoccupied periods results in substantial energy savings in excess of 50%.

  • Equipment with the highest energy consumption has the greatest benefit.

    On a total energy savings basis, the benefit is the largest for the equipment with the highest energy consumption (e.g., soda vending machines) with a lower benefit for equipment that has low consumption or low unoccupied consumption (e.g., water fountains, copiers)

  • Short payback period

    For the Smart Plugs installed in this study, the simple payback for all areas is less than 1 year with simple payback as short as 4 months for high energy consuming equipment.

  • Justification for wide deployment

    The energy savings, short simple payback, and verifiable results substantiate wider deployments throughout the selected facilities.

building background

What does your building cost to power?

Even when buildings are empty - which is about 70% of the time - they continue to use energy. Think about how that shrinks your budget. Powering these facilities is costing billions of dollars ever year.
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