7 Uses for Plug Load Control Devices

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Plug load control devices provide two major services to your building. First, they allow you to monitor your plug load and, second, they allow you to control your plug load.

When you have appliances and electronics plugged in, they absorb power. Even if they are in the off position – they’re still consuming power. This is known as phantom power.

By using plug load control devices, you can control operating power and cut down on the amount of phantom power your building uses. As a result, your building will reduce energy costs.

How plug load control devices can reduce energy use.

Our plug load control devices, BOSS Smart Plugs, are used on all kinds of electronics and appliances. Through baseline periods, we can estimate potential energy savings. The baseline period is a seven-day span during which our Smart Plugs are installed, but aren’t programmed. By not programming the devices, we are able to measure the device’s current energy consumption. We’ll be able to compare this baseline data to data gained once the Smart Plugs are programmed. This helps us expertly estimate how much your building can save on phantom power use!

The potential is there with plug load control devices.

Baseline reports have helped us show many clients the benefit of using plug load control devices. Below, we’ve compiled some of averages of the savings we’ve seen accomplished by controlling different appliances.

Keep in mind that this data is estimated and is not exact, as there are some variables that come to play. Variables include the different unoccupied hours of the building, as well as the different energy rates throughout the country. To calculate these estimated annual energy cost savings, we identified that the use of a kilowatt of energy costs $0.11, but this could vary.

  1. Televisions

The size of the television does have an effect on how much energy it requires to operate. For example, a 42″ plasma TV will use up 25 kilowatts of phantom power during a baseline period, whereas a 52″ plasma TV will use up 30 kilowatts. The average operating power for a 42″ is 280 kilowatts, where a 52″ is 400 kilowatts.

To give you some reference on how much a kilowatt is: a 100-watt light bulb will consume a single kilowatt if left on for ten hours.

Keeping this in mind, using plug load control devices on your 42″ TV can reduce your building’s energy use by 626 kilowatts a year and save you an estimated $69 a year. For a 52″ TV, you can save as much as 870 kilowatts a year and an estimated $96 a year.

  1. Computers

A computer that includes a monitor, will use about 15 kilowatts in phantom power during baseline periods and 165 kilowatts in operating power. The use of a plug load control device can result in energy savings of 370 kilowatts a year, which should then result in savings of roughly $41. And that’s just for one computer! Imagine the savings you’d see by implementing Smart Plugs on every computer in your building.

  1. Copy Machines

A copy machine absorbs 28 kilowatts in phantom power but takes up zero kilowatts in average operating power. The use of a Smart Plug can help you save 114 kilowatts a year and reduce energy costs by $12 a year.

  1. Refrigerated Vending Machines

Refrigerated vending machines are always on during unoccupied hours, which means that they do not use up phantom power. Still, buildings can save costs by using plug load control devices to control vending machine operating power. On average, refrigerated vending machines use 420 kilowatts a week to operate. The use of a Smart Plug can cut energy use by an astounding 2,490 kilowatts a year, saving you as much as $274 a year, per vending machine.

  1. Window A.C. Units

A window A.C. unit will only use up around eight kilowatts of phantom power in a week, but it absorbs roughly 1,250 kilowatts when in use. You can cut down the amount of energy a single window A.C. unit uses by 1,369 kilowatts a year with the use of a Smart Plug, resulting in annual energy cost savings of about $119.

  1. Cappuccino Machine

A cappuccino machine will absorb 32 kilowatts in phantom power and use 80 kilowatts in operation every week. With a plug load control device, you can save 280 kilowatts a year and $31 in annual energy cost savings.

  1. Portable Electric Heater

A portable electric heater will only use up a single kilowatt in phantom power, but requires around 1,500 kilowatts to operate on a weekly basis. With a Smart Plug, you can reduce your energy use by 1,082 kilowatts a year, resulting in savings of $119 a year.

Think about your building – it houses not just one of each of these devices, but many of each! When you use plug load controllers on all the devices in your building, the savings stack up. Don’t forget to check with your local utility to see what other rebates and savings may be available.

Want to get a better idea of what you can save by using plug load control devices on all your building’s devices? Enter some information into our energy savings calculator to see what your building could save. It’s more than you think!


Do you want to become a part of the $60 billion in energy cost savings in the US alone with the implementation of energy efficiency devices?

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