Implementation Phases


Develop an initiative to raise awareness — provide energy meters for residential and commercial customers to measure the amount of power consumed by  home and office electronics use, and resources to learn about easy-to-install options for plug load reduction.

Create a program to encourage residents and businesses to replace old energy-inefficient electronics with Energy Star models and easy-to-use intelligent power strips and management systems to completely shut off unused electronics to eliminate wasted energy from phantom loads. A number of commercial products and services are available to assist business owners with this.




People don’t realize how much energy plug-in equipment uses and most devices are hard to turn off when not in use (ex: monitors, TVs, game systems, printers, copy machines, etc.)

People are reluctant to replace inefficient equipment that is still operable, so raising awareness of the energy consumption of electronic plug-in devices is critical and  plug load management is important to reduce wasted energy. However, this technology must be installed at each outlet that is in use.

Lack of awareness of the latest plug load management technology and software for commercial entities.

Relatively small impact until sufficient participation levels are reached to reduce communitywide energy usage. However, cost savings can be meaningful for individual residential and non-residential consumers. 

High upfront costs for electric appliances that are more efficient can be a barrier for equipment replacement. Therefore, installing plug load management devices provide an attractive alternative.






Example Municipalities

Several municipalities have already implemented this action… 

  • As part of Local Law 88, New York City requires non-residential buildings greater than 25,000 feet to install sub-meters which detail how much energy is being used by tenants in order to encourage these tenants to reduce it over time. It also shows tenants how much electricity their peers are using to further inspire reduced plug load use.
  • The city of Emeryville, California intends to reduce plug loads throughout its city, by “activating any energy saving features on your plug load equipment and by using occupancy sensor plug load shut-off devices, such as occupancy sensed power strips.” 


Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reductions


CO2e emission due to usage of electricity for all residential buildings in Bethlehem, NY: 19648 metric tons per year [Bethlehem, NY 2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, Page 16, table1

Energy saved in percentage when using energy star appliances: 30% [SaveOnEnergy]  


We calculated the:

  1. CO2 emissions reduction for all residential units after using energy star appliances.


5890 Metric tons of CO2e is reduced per year when all residential households switch to energy star appliances with reduced plug load.

This results LARGE GHG emissions reductions.






Climate Smart Communities (CSC) & Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Link


This action is also related to CSC and CEC actions for which municipalities can earn points toward certification. Municipalities that develop and implement a formal public campaign can: 

CEC Actions:

  • Earn 200 CEC points through CEC’s High Impact Action, Community Campaign for Demand Response.

CSC Actions:

  • Earn 3 CSC points through CSC’s PE8 Action: Community Campaign for Demand Response.







There are multiple co-benefits to completing this action, including:

  • Greater awareness of cost of ownership of plug-in devices, and in particular electronic gaming devices.
  • Accelerated replacement of inefficient devices.
  • Economic savings from replacing old energy inefficient appliances and electronics.





betterbuildings solutioncenter.energy.gov.


s/Decision_Guides_for_PPL_Controls_0.pdf , p. 2.