Resources for Plug Load Efficiency


According to California’s Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan, plug-in equipment is expected to account for 69% of the growth in building electricity consumption by 2030. Plug load management and energy efficiency was also a topic of discussion in the recent California’s Clean Economy legislative hearing. Luckily, there are resources that can guide activities local governments can take in procurement, behavioral programs, community education, and more.

EE Procurement and Behavior & Operations: Plug Load Management Guide

A plug load management guide from New Buildings Institute funded by the CEC’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program shares a number of best practices in plug load energy efficiency – including (1) assessing what you use, (2) removing and turning off electronics you’re not using, (3) reducing energy consumption in the load you do use, and making sure that (4) when it’s time for electronics replacements, energy-efficient equipment models are selected. (5) Retraining will also help connect electronics and plug load users with the benefits of reduced consumption, and lead to powerful behavior change. The guide shares more details around these topics that are helpful for incorporating into operational and behavioral programs.

The guide also highlights the energy savings that can be found through efficient IT – specifically, consolidation and energy efficient upgrades to server rooms and computers – and connects to the Natural Resource Defense Council’s webpage on server room energy use. (Check out this ACEEE paper on efficiency in server rooms for more information.)

Codes & Standards: Following Title 20

The California Energy Commission (CEC) established the Appliance Efficiency Regulations in 1976 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce the energy demand in the state. Also known as the California Code of Regulations’ Title 20, Sections 1601 through 1609, these standards are updated regularly to include amendments and new standards. Therefore, keeping your government and your local community updated on Title 20 resources can ensure your government’s procurements, and your community’s consumer choices, take into account the additional annual savings and sustainability benefits provided by energy-efficient equipment:

  • The CEC has a wealth of resources on its Title 20 outreach page, including fact sheets for consumers and businesses that can be shared in your community, and a webinar presentation introducing the Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDBS).
  • To learn more about plug load efficiency research, and download useful fact sheets and case studies, visit the CEC’s Title 20 projects page.
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