What is “Plug Load”?
Plug load, for smart plugs and in general, is the term for the amount of energy you use every month from devices and other electronics being plugged into an electrical socket.
For example, look at the typical workspace of any employee. Along with a computer, monitor and phone, there may be a lamp, desk fan or space heater. On top of that comes charging cables, docks and stations for a full array of electronic devices brought from home. These devices can include cell phones tablets, readers, personal laptops and more.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 26% of electronic use in the workplace is due to plug load. Plug load does not include the amount of electricity used in overhead lighting or heating and air conditioning systems. Instead, plug load recognizes only those items plugged into a 120-volt or 220-volt electrical outlet. These are the typical outlets for powering devices used on a daily basis.
Plug Load is the Ultimate Place to Receive Cost Savings
Non-profits, government offices and schools, as well as, commercial offices were unprepared for the exponential rise of devices and the sheer amount of electricity that would go to charging and running them on a daily basis.
On a residential level, government, utilities, and environmental groups recommend that when you go on vacation or business trip, that you unplug – not just turn off – any non-essential electronics from around your home. The reason is because, with many electronics, there is a big difference between not-in-use versus being in a “sleep” or “hibernation” mode. For example, if you have a device such as a DVR that looks like it is “off” it is really just in “sleep” mode, still recording, keeping the time and so forth and still using electricity.
Now multiply the amount of devices used in a single home by all the devices used in an office environment. Just as with your own home, government, utilities, and environmental groups recommend that all employees unplug when they leave for the night and especially for the weekend.
Some power strips have timers but these can’t be programmed, monitored or re-scheduled and can easily lead to a loss of data, power interrupts. They also do not effectively help with shifts, holidays or long hours.