Plug Load Continues to Grow
Most of us would agree that our lives involve the daily use of multiple electronics. For instance, according to the most recent data, in 2009 40% of households had 3 TVs and 35% of households had 2 or more computers. These numbers support the fact that lighting, electronics and appliances now account for 36% of residential energy use. That is up from 24% in 1993.
Plug load also has a large effect on commercial building energy consumption. An interesting example is the Bullitt Center in Seattle. The Bullitt Center is one of the world’s greenest office buildings. Interestingly, electronics account for a quarter of the buildings electricity use. So what are they going to do to reduce this number? Install smart power strips that automatically turn off when there is no occupancy. Pretty cool, right??
To reduce your plug load at home and at the office install power strips and remember to turn them off when you are not there. Not all of us can install such fancy power strips-but a good ol’ simple one will work just fine! Add this to your energy challenge actions to see how it can help reduce your energy use and carbon footprint.
Electricity use via plug loads, due to our legions of devices, is becoming more noticed and is starting to be addressed. It is no longer something that is just shrugged off as insignificant. And given our penchant for more and more devices, plug load will remain a growing concern. -Steven Castle, Green Tech Advocates