Plug & Process Loads

Plug & Process Loads

Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume about one third of primary energy in U.S. commercial buildings. As buildings become more efficient, PPL efficiency has become pertinent in achieving aggressive energy targets. Through the PPL Technology Solutions Team, partners participate in a platform to share experiences and learn from their peer, and work together to create resources on PPL energy reduction strategies and their applications, covering a wide variety of electronic, computer, refrigeration, and cooking devices, including equipment essential to information processing, medical treatment, and food service businesses.

Plug Load Energy: Assess and Reduce
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Alliance Activities

Participate in expert-led technology teams, test out an implementation model, join a technology campaign, or take part in a technology challenge or demonstration.

Events Calendar

Better Buildings partners participate in webinars, peer-exchange calls, meetings, and industry workshops and conferences. Browse upcoming events and opportunities to participate by month.

PPL Beat Blogs

The Plug and Process Load Team occasionally contributes articles about new developments and technologies on the Better Buildings Beat Blog

Featured Solutions

The decision guides found in this resource were created to help building owners find the right control strategy for PPLs in their buildings.
This specification provides detailed selection criteria for five major APSs, and sets standards for modeling APSs. It is intended to help those who procure APSs select the most effective models for their commercial buildings.
Each advanced power strip has three outlet types for equipment with various electricity needs. This infographic describes the uses for each outlet type.
Using the process and strategies outlined in this brochure, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was able to drastically reduce its PPL energy use in the Research Support Facility (RSF).
Download this list of incentives and rebates for plug and process load controls that are offered by utilities across the country.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) successfully renovated the historic Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. GSA’s goals were to preserve the building’s historic features, and achieve Zero Energy Building (ZEB) status.

Other Resources

Fact Sheets

GSA’s Green Proving Ground (GPG) program recently assessed the effectiveness of advanced power strips (APS) in managing plugload energy consumption in eight of its buildings.
This brochure addresses gaps in actionable knowledge that can help reduce the plug load capacities designed into buildings.

Guidance

List of currently qualified products available for sale in the U.S. that meet the DOE/CBEA Distribution Transformer Specification.
There are some misconceptions on how APSs work and their actual savings potential. This resource was created to help bust some of these myths and encourage wider adoption of these cost-effective, energy-saving devices.

Reports

NREL has developed guidance for evaluating and selecting a range of technologies to control plug and process loads.
DOE commissioned NREL to partner with two hospitals (MGH and SUNY UMU) to collect data on the energy used for multiple thermal and electrical end-use categories.
This report addresses gaps in actionable knowledge that would help reduce the plug load capacities designed into buildings.

Additional Information

Commercial Buildings Resource Database
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) publications related to commercial buildings, including plug and process load resources.

ENERGY STAR Tools and Resources Library
Tools and resources on implementing a successful energy management strategy.

ENERGY STAR Purchasing and Procurement
An ENERGY STAR resource on purchasing efficient products to reduce energy costs without compromising quality. Learn more about ENERGY STAR qualified products and specify them in your purchasing policies and contracts.

Energy-Efficient Product Procurement
Federal agencies are required to procure energy-efficient products. This Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) resource includes trainings, seminars, and publications to help Federal purchasers identify energy- and water-efficient products.

Net Zero Blueprint
This High Performance Buildings article discusses the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NRELs) replicable approach to achieve a large reduction in building energy use and adopt a net-zero energy approach for large-scale commercial buildings without increasing cost.

GSA’s Plug Load Management Suite
The General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Plug Load Management Suite contains information to help facility managers manage energy use and minimize energy loads used by equipment plugged into outlets. GSA’s Suite contains research-based solutions that address key challenges related to plug load management.

GSA’s Flyers of Green Proving Ground Results
The General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Green Proving Ground program conducts demonstrations of various technologies and provides summaries of results. The following one-pagers may be useful for identifying solutions for plug and process energy loads:

Sustainable Facilities Tool
The GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool offers useful sustainable guidance and tools for a variety of roles, including facility manager, leasing specialist, procurement professional and project manager. The tool may provide useful information for incorporating PPL strategies and technologies for your role, including a Green Products Compilation for procuring more energy efficient plug and process load equipment.

Priorities

Meet the Technology Expert

Rois Langner has worked as a building scientist and architectural engineer in the Commercial Buildings Research Group at NREL since the beginning of 2010. Her past research efforts have focused on building energy efficiency projects that utilize OpenStudio software to analyze and optimize building design and performance for military and large commercial buildings. She has worked with organizations to develop, implement, and maintain energy management policies and systems for continual energy improvement. More recently, she has worked to support the small commercial building sector in overcoming barriers that inhibit the adoption of energy efficiency solutions. Additionally, Rois supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance, leading the Plug and Process Load Technology Solutions Team.