Put Money Back in Your Pocket with Plug Load Control
Plug load control easily addresses one of the biggest concerns facing the owners and managers of larger buildings over the past decade or so has been sustainability. Green building has become not just an important way to reduce the harmful impact we have on our environment and the substantial energy costs that larger buildings incur, but also a way to create a healthier environment for the people within those buildings.
Green building has taken off. What some might have once considered just a trend is now a commonly shared goal. While some features, such as building automation, HVAC system upgrades, lighting upgrades and more, are considered no-brainers as far as increasing energy efficiency goes, other tactics are only starting to gain attention.
One of the tactics that can help to substantially lower energy use throughout large buildings is plug load control.
Download our Plug Load Control Implementation Checklist to start executing your strategy today.
What Exactly is a Building’s Plug Load?
Plug load is the term used for the electrical loads that are plugged into all the outlets throughout your building. So, all the electronics in the building (computers, printers, TVs, etc.) and appliances (refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, etc.) contribute to your plug load when they are plugged in to the outlet.
It can be hard to imagine that a building’s appliances and electronics have that much of an impact on the building’s energy use, especially when compared to things like the building’s lighting or heating and cooling operations. But what you may not realize is that even if these electronics and appliances are switched off, they are still absorbing electricity when they are plugged in. This is often referred to as standby power, vampire power or phantom loads.
Plug loads account for roughly 33 percent of all electricity consumption in American commercial buildings. As you can imagine, this makes plug load management an important aspect of energy conservation. But how exactly can you reduce your building’s plug load without having to manually unplug every electrical component and appliance whenever they are not in use?
By using plug load control.
What is Plug Load Control?
Plug load control is exactly what it sounds like – a method of controlling the electronics and appliances that are plugged into your outlets so that you’re not wasting energy on phantom loads.
There are many basic ways that you can implement a plug load management system. For example, you can install occupancy sensors or even connect certain outlets to a remote-control circuit breaker. But the most effective way to control plug load is through the use of an automated plug load control system.
An example of an automated plug load control system is BOSS Smart Plugs plus Atmospheres®. Smart Plugs are plug load management devices that plug into your appliances and electronics. You can then control the plug load receptacle remotely via a single network. This means that you will be able to completely cut off power to your electronics and appliances from anywhere – even outside of the building – via Atmospheres. Atmospheres is a special software program that can be used on a mobile device to manage plug load control.
In addition to being able to cut off all power from your building’s plug loads, you will also be able to program your Smart Plugs to turn on and off at specific points of the day. For example, you can program a vending machine to turn on right before the first person arrives in the office, or you can program the power to your TVs to turn off when the last person in the building generally leaves.