How to defeat the massive plug-load monsterGreenBiz, May 16, 2012
Maybe you just got to the office, grabbed some coffee and pulled up to your desk to start your day. Your printer sits innocuously next to your lamp, computer and phone, but they feed an insatiable monster — they all draw electricity around the clock. This drain, called plug load, which accounts for about a third of commercial building energy use, might be why your electricity use has increased over the past few years.
As electricity demand increases, new power plants are constructed around the country. But the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at this issue from the other side: Rather than focusing first on energy production, have we utilized all possible ways to lower demand? Our buildings are responsible for 41 percent of U.S. primary energy use. Improving building energy efficiency is vital to the cleaner energy future that RMI envisions in Reinventing Fire. Reducing energy demand in our buildings can also create job opportunities and free up financing for renewable energy sources.