3 Reasons Plug Load Management is Important for Your Building
When it comes to investing in improvements for their buildings, owners and managers often focus their efforts on energy efficiency. It’s not difficult to understand why – by improving energy efficiency, they can greatly reduce their building’s energy costs over time. If you’re looking for ways that you can improve your building’s energy efficiency, then one area that you should take a look at is your building’s plug load.
What is Plug Load Management?
The first thing you’ll need to know is what a plug load actually is. The “plug load” refers to the amount of energy being used by a building through its electrical outlets by things like computers, TVs, printers, vending machines, coffee makers and the like. The more appliances and electronic devices that are plugged in throughout the building, the larger your plug load is.
As you can imagine, plug load management involves a system in which the plug load of the building is tracked and limited as much as possible. Because a building’s plug load can account for a huge percent of its total energy use (plug loads in commercial buildings account for five percent of the country’s primary energy consumption, according to the NREL), managing your plug load can have a big impact on your building’s energy efficiency.
Unfortunately, many building owners don’t even realize that they can manage their plug load and therefore pay no attention to it.
What’s Involved in the Process?
There are two main factors involved in setting up an effective plug load management system – tracking the plug load and controlling the plug load.
• Tracking the plug load – A plug load management system will allow you to track not just the total plug load of your building on a day-to-day or even hourly basis, but to track the individual plug loads of each device plugged into your outlets, thereby giving you an in-depth understanding of how your building is using its energy.
• Controlling the plug load – By tracking your plug load, you’ll be able to determine where energy is being wasted as well as used, which in turn will allow you to use automation in order to shut off the flow of energy to certain devices at certain times in order to cut down on wasted energy.
Is it Expensive to Implement?
Implementing a plug load management system is not as expensive as you might think. That’s because all you need to invest in is the Smart Plugs, which plug right into your outlets, and our Atmospheres® software, which can be implemented using your building’s WiFi system to track and control your plug load through your Smart Plugs. This means that you don’t have to invest any money into upgrading your infrastructure to accommodate our plug load management system.
Additionally, the initial costs of implementing our plug load management system will be offset by your building’s potential energy savings over the long run, not to mention the various rebates or incentives that you may be able to qualify for.
Why is Plug Load Management Important?
Yes, implementing a plug load management system will help to make your building more energy efficient. But what are the actual specific benefits of a plug load management system? The following are three of the main reasons why it’s important to address your building’s plug load and to put into place a system to effectively manage it:
1. Reduce wasted energy
One of the main problems with plug loads is that a lot of the energy that accounts for your building’s plug load comes from phantom loads, which are also referred to as vampire loads or parasitic loads. When a device is plugged into an outlet, it absorbs energy. However, turning that device off does not stop its use of energy – even devices in the off position will continue absorbing energy from your outlet as long as they are plugged in. The use of our Smart Plugs allows you to completely shut off the flow of energy when the device is not in use.
2. Improve control
Using our Atmospheres software, you can track the plug load of each individual outlet to determine when the peak usage times are. By determining the peak usage times as well as the lowest usage times, you can put your Smart Plugs on an automated schedule. This means that you can have the power to an outlet switched off at certain times to save energy. Additionally, you can access our Atmospheres software from your computer, laptop, tablet and even your smartphone.
3. Save money
By implementing a plug load management system, such as our BOSS Controls system, you could reduce your building’s plug load substantially, to the point where you could achieve energy savings of upwards of 50 percent. This can have a substantial effect on your building’s overhead costs.
The plug load of your building is a big factor in your building’s overall energy costs. Because of this, you should strongly consider investing in a plug load management system. For more information about our Atmospheres software or our Smart Plugs, be sure to contact us at BOSS Controls today.