Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume about one-third of energy in commercial buildings. They can range from electronic devices and kitchen appliances to computers and other equipment that is commonly found in office buildings. These loads are often neglected by property owners seeking to lower utilities, while tenants have the most ability to control this particular energy end use. Because PPLs are such a large end use, good PPL management is a major key to reducing whole-building energy use.
As an environmentally conscious landlord, The Tower Companies (Tower), implemented a number of energy conservation measures (ECMs) at The Millennium Building, a multi-tenant office building in Washington, DC. To go beyond base building controls and reduce energy in tenant spaces, Tower sought expertise from the Institute for Market Transformation, and the Waypoint Building Group, a software and analytics provider for commercial real estate. With funding from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, IMT and Waypoint then conducted research at The Millennium Building to assess the cost and impact on energy usage from PPL management strategies over a 105-day period.
For the commercial real estate market, this study presents PPL strategies and their associated energy savings, while also exploring the most cost-effective pathways to implementation.This study is meant to highlight the process and opportunities of PPL management rather than define a standard economic outcome, as several variables could affect the outcome on a case-by-case basis.