Getting to Net Zero Energy Through Strategic Building Operations and Plug Load Management
Plug loads comprise a much greater amount and proportion of total building energy consumption than they have in the past. There is a significant opportunity to reduce this consumption. However, these loads are rarely managed well due to lack of effective technologies and plug load management strategies. Properly managing plug loads were a key reason the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) was able to transition its headquarters from a LEED Platinum office building first occupied in 2017 to become the first Net Zero Energy certified office building in Texas in early 2020. The technologies used, the different stages of plug load consumption, and the strategies adopted to manage and reduce plug loads and overall building energy consumption were discussed.