Which Plug Loads Consume the Most Energy?
SEE HOW YOUR OFFICE RATES AGAINST THE TOP OFFENDERS IN ENERGY
in more energy-efficient printers, consider
consolidating the ones you already have
into more central locations that can serve
multiple departments. Encourage staff to
minimize printing whenever possible so the
printer spends less time in active mode.
3) Computers. In most offices, everyone needs a computer issued to them, so
it’s often impossible to make the case for
having fewer computers drawing power.
However, you can mitigate the damage by
enforcing energy-efficient power settings
that will transition the computer to a low-energy sleep mode when it hasn’t been
used for a while, such as during the user’s
lunch break or at night.
Think about who in your office could make
do with a laptop as well. The Federal Energy
Management Program notes that ENERGY
STAR desktops with power management
settings enabled can use 21-83 k Wh every
year compared to 221 k Wh for a less efficient
computer with no power management set-
tings. However, an energy-efficient laptop
uses 18-28 k Wh per year (or 59 k Wh for a
4) Computer monitors. Newer LCD
screens typically consume 10-18W, according to the New Buildings Institute and the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Invest in ENERGY STAR models when you
can to make sure you’re getting the most
bang for your buck.
5) Fans. Simple desktop-size fans don’t
consume nearly as much energy as their cold
weather counterparts, space heaters, but
when it comes to saving energy and money,
a watt is a watt. Personal fans often consume somewhere in the range of 4-12W.
6) VoIP phones. Most VoIP phones on the
market use Power over Ethernet (PoE) rather
than the more powerful and more energy-intensive PoE+. PoE consumes a maximum
7) Task lights. LED task lights use 6-9W
on average. That’s not much, especially if the
user doesn’t need it all day, but it’s important to keep an eye on all plug loads. Task
lights are good candidates for advanced
power strips that will shut off everything
plugged into them at a predetermined time.
8) Computer peripherals. Small peripherals like mice may only draw 0.5W. Survey
occupants to see what else is plugged into
their computers and adjust your energy efficiency plans accordingly.
Develop the business case for addressing
plug loads by conducting an energy audit in
your office and determining how much could
be saved. A small investment in advanced
power strips and better energy conservation
policies regarding power management settings and turning machines off at the end of
the day could make a significant impact.
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org
is Senior Editor of BUILDINGS.
Where does your office waste the most electricity? Each office is different, but if yours is anything
like the average, you can probably make a
sizable dent by cracking down on personal
comfort devices and consolidating printers.
The worst offenders include:
1) Space heaters. A small personal space
heater that’s designed to heat a private
office or the zone immediately around the
user can pull upwards of 200W. If several
people in your office building are using
space heaters, it adds up fast.
2) Imaging equipment, such as printers,
fax machines or all-in-one models. Some
commercial printer models use 30-50W on
standby mode and up to 300-500W whenever they’re actively printing. If your office
uses a lot of paper, that’s a lot of extra spikes
in the power consumption. If you can’t invest
COMPUTERS REQUIRE A LOT OF ENERGY TO OPERATE. You probably can’t eliminate
them from your office, but you can mitigate the energy drain by having occupants use
power management settings.
PERSONAL COMFORT DEVICES LIKE
SPACE HEATERS are another story.
Eliminating the heaters and fans people
bring to the office can make a significant
dent in your energy bills.