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Plug Load Control

Plug load control comes in two basic forms. Energy savings are achieved when the device is either transitioned to a low-power state, or it is de-energized to eliminate the power draw. Both can be executed either manually or automatically. A low-power state is between a de-energized state and a ready-to-use state. This includes standby, sleep, and hibernate modes as well as any “off” state that has a parasitic power draw. A de-energized state is when electricity is not being provided to the device. This is analogous to physically unplugging a device’s power cord from a standard electrical outlet.

The most prevalent plug load contral strategies include:


Manual Control: Most plug-loads can be manually powered down with built-in power buttons, shutdown procedures, or a control device that energizes and de-energizes electrical outlets based only on manual input. The effectiveness of manual control depends entirely on user behavior and should be implemented only if no other methods apply.


Automatic Low-Power State: The first, and in some cases most effective, control method is a built-in, automatic low-power state functionality such as standby or sleep. Some manufacturers include this functionality to reduce energy consumption of idle devices. Internal processes monitor idle time, and when the device has been in an idle state for a given period, it will power down to a low-power state.


Schedule Timer Control Device: Certain plug-loads have predictable load profiles. These devices are used during the same times each day or at regular intervals. A scheduling-control device can effectively manage a predictable plug-load. It applies user-programmed schedules to de-energize the plug-load to match its use pattern and energize the plug-load so that it is ready for use at the time when it is required.


Load-Sensing Control Device: Plug loads may have a primary-secondary relationship. A primary device, such as a computer, operates independently of other (slave) devices. A secondary device, such as a monitor or other peripheral, depends on the operation of other (master) devices. A load-sensing control device should be implemented for such a relationship. It automatically energizes and de-energizes secondary devices based on the “sensed” power load of the primary device(s). Whenever the primary device goes into a power state below a given threshold, the load-sensing control can power down the secondary devices. The sensed (primary) load is typically an electrical outlet or an auxiliary port (e.g., universal serial bus (USB) in the case of a computer).


Occupancy-Control Device: Occupancy control can save a great deal of energy as it energizes plug-loads only when users are present and de-energizes them when the space is vacant. This approach pinpoints the main source of wasted energy during non-business hours and reduces wasted energy during business hours. However, the largest drawback is that occupancy controlled devices may energize and de-energize outlets at inappropriate times.


Manual-On, Vacancy-Off Control Device: A manual-on, vacancy-off control device is a slight modification of the occupancy-control device. It energizes a plug-load when it receives manual input from a user and de-energizes the plug-load automatically based on lack of occupancy. This control should be implemented for plug-loads that are needed only when users are present (e.g., task lights, monitors, and laptops).

Procure Products

in the Green Procurement Compilation

51 Results : Plug Load Control

  • Building Plug Loads - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Building Plug Loads Plug loads can average approximately 30% of electricity...attributed to parasitic loads (power draw of a plug-load that is not performing
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 572 › building-plug-loads
  • Sustainability Topics - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...acoustic conditions, and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort...smart transportation choices; and controls stormwater runoff. Additionally, appropriate
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  • MaterialDetails - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Timer Control Device Description Certain plug-loads have predictable load profiles...scheduling-control device can effectively manage a predictable plug-load. It applies
    https://sftool.gov › material › 2166 › schedule-timer-control-device
  • MaterialDetails - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Vacancy-Off Control Device Description A manual-on, vacancy-off control device is...of the occupancy-control device. It energizes a plug-load when it receives manual
    https://sftool.gov › material › 2169 › manual-on-vacancy-off-control-device
  • Support Area - Details View - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Lighting Lighting Use daylight sensor controls that turn off electric lighting in...occupant sensors, a sustainable lighting control program can have significant benefits
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-workspace › 87 › support-area
  • Web Policies and Important Links - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...these website links. SFTool does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance...security policies. Share Did You Know? Plug loads can average approximately 30% of
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 566 › web-policies-important-links
  • Cafeteria - Details View - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...serving areas. Inadequate humidity control can lead to moisture on windows, which...excessive humidity in the space. Manage plug-load by selecting products that can be
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-workspace › 88 › cafeteria
  • MaterialDetails - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...Load-Sensing Control Device Description Plug loads may have a primary-secondary...of other (master) devices. A load-sensing control device should be implemented
    https://sftool.gov › material › 2167 › load-sensing-control-device
  • Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...storage, communications, sensors and controls; Clean energy and climate goals driving...technologies to dynamically shape energy loads, help agencies meet their missions
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 638 › grid-interactive-efficient-buildings
  • Resources > Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...accuracy, identify energy-consuming loads, and document energy reduction efforts...anomalies. Identifies energy-consuming loads Enables remote monitoring of usage
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 92 › submetering › resources-impact
  • Partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy for Efficiency

    Boiler Load Optimization Control Plug Loads ● Data-driven Receptacle Control Water...for Daylight Harvesting & Thermal Control Energy Management Platform ● Convert
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-tools › Commercial Buildings Integration Group Update.pdf
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    ...efficiency, renewables, energy storage and load flexibility GEBs employ all these...shift, modulate or generate electric load as needed In response to utility price
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-policies-strategies › 4 - Sandler-Hydras GEB talk for ISWG 12-5-19 v5.pdf
  • Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...easily control systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, and control start...ability to analyze specific energy load performance at the system-level, benchmark
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    ...easily control systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, and control start...ability to analyze specific energy load performance at the system-level, benchmark
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › electrical-system
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    ...easily control systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, and control start...ability to analyze specific energy load performance at the system-level, benchmark
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › electrical-circuit
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    ...easily control systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, and control start...ability to analyze specific energy load performance at the system-level, benchmark
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › electrical---end-device
  • N232

    ...treated/remediated groundwater  Bioswales control and filter run-off  Fast-growing...architectural, mechanical, plumbing, power, controls and interior design  Monitor real-time
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › NASA Ames Sustainability Base_SDianati Nov 2012.pdf
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    ...(EEx) - Cybersecurity Technologies and Control Systems CEU - # 9 / FBPTA - #4 Technical...- Expert: FEMP Facility Related Control Systems Security - Expert: FEMP THURSDAY
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  • Sustainable Response to COVID-19 - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Guideline 11-2018, Field Testing of HVAC Control Components Ventilation, Filtration...Ventilation ASHRAE Increased Ventilation Control ASHRAE Upgrading & Improving Filtration
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