Busting the Myths Around Advanced Power Strips

By Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Jun 15, 2016

How much do you really know about controlling Plug and Process Loads with Advanced Power Strips?

Plug and Process Loads (PPLs) account for about one-third of the energy consumed in commercial buildings. That equates to $56 billion a year. A new technology has emerged to help reduce that number by giving consumers more control over PPLs – Advanced Power Strips (APS).

APSs function like regular power strips, but have built-in technology to reduce PPL runtimes and save energy when devices are not in use. There are a lot of myths about how they work. Luckily, a new resource in the Better Buildings Solution Center makes busting those myths fast and easy! Myth Busting: Market Barriers to Advanced Power Strips addresses six primary myths about APSs, from safety to tenant engagement. Helpful graphics break down the different kinds of APS technologies on the market in a straightforward, easy-to-read way.

One common myth is that APSs are expensive, and don’t result in enough savings. Not so! You can get an APS anywhere from $10-$80; some utility companies even offer financial incentives to offset the cost. The U.S. General Services Administration deployed APSs throughout their office spaces through their Green Proving Ground program. Tracking energy savings, they were able to achieve 26 percent energy savings associated with PPLs at workstations in addition to existing advanced power management, and 50 percent energy savings in kitchen areas and printer rooms. The project paid for itself in 2 years. Myth: busted.

More information on how to manage PPLs and achieve better energy savings can be found in the Better Buildings Solution Center. Also make sure to check out the Better Buildings Alliance’s Plug and Process Load Team website!