ASHRAE 90.1 Receptacle Control is getting more and more press lately. These evolving industry standards have been created to help make sure that the newest energy savings technologies are used in buildings across the country. While ASHRAE standards cover many things- ranging from occupancy sensors to exterior lighting, and skylights- the receptacle control standards are new and important.

Many studies have shown the importance of controlling plug load. Lots of equipment like computer monitors, printers, office equipment, copiers, water coolers are constantly plugged in and seldom used. This goes beyond the idea of standby power- the notion that devices like computers and TV’s use energy when they have been turned off but are still plugged in. Many more devices are ON when people are not in a room or facility to use them.

The ASHRAE 90.1 Receptacle Control standards promote the idea of saving energy when rooms or buildings are not in use right into the design process for a building. The new standards say that building should have at least 50 percent of their receptacles controlled to go off when buildings are not in use.

Unlike motion detectors, which are great for things like lighting, plug load management devices like Bert can provide a high degree of control for a wide variety of devices.  Think about vending machines or water coolers. Soda or water needs to be kept cold as long as people are in a building.  But once everyone leaves for the night the water does not need to be kept cold anymore. Controlling plug load intelligently allows a facilities manager to reduce energy use when buildings are not occupied, while keeping the water cold (so to speak).

The Bert plug load management system provides an excellent way to control plug load under the ASHRAE 90.1 Receptacle Control standards. Using the Bert devices you can schedule receptacles throughout your facility to go on when people are in the building, and off when they’re not.  The management takes place using your wireless network.  Schedules are stored in the microprocessor within each Bert unit. Devices go on and off automatically, without human intervention.