Plug load in corporate office buildings from computers, monitors, printers, coffee machines, vending machines, and other equipment can account for, according to various studies, 20-35% of electricity usage at a corporate office building. While real estate, facility and sustainability teams have projects to improve the efficiency for lighting and HVAC, few have projects that address plug load. Benefits from employee "shut it off" awareness programs are nearly impossible to quantify.
The largest addressable opportunity for energy reduction is turning off equipment that is needlessly running while not disrupting the productivity of office workers.
The good news is that technology continues to improve in this area and more comprehensive solutions are appearing in the market. Some utilities even offer rebates or incentives for plug load solutions.
Vendor approaches vary. Some solutions focus on advanced power and surge protector strips with wireless connectivity. Other solutions focus on an IP-based approach for equipment connected to the corporate IT network. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages.
Solutions are available from Belkin, Bits Limited, Enmetric (PowerPort), Joulex (Energy Manager), Kill-a-watt, Power Sentry, WattStopper (Isole), and others.
What has your experience been? We're happy to trade notes on what we are learning in our work and from others.