Plug load is the next big thing in energy saving.

Most any energy manager or building supervisor has looked at the big things- like HVAC systems. Consulting companies and ESCOs have conducted audits and identified the low-hanging fruit. And any company that is serious about energy savings and efficiency has already taken steps here.  But plug load is different.  It’s difficult, but important.  For many facilities plug load represents 2o or 30 percent of their electricity use. Yet controlling plug load often depends on people.  And people aren’t easy to program, or train, or motivate.

Studies from the US Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, government research facilities like Lawrence Berkely Labs, and academic research universities have all shown the potential savings from managing plug loads, but few have shown effective ways to control this electric use consistently without interfering with building operation.

The newest building codes, like ASHRAE 90.1 point to receptacle control as an important feature of new buildings. Building automation vendors provide good solutions for controlling lighting, heating, cooling, and even computer management. But all the other stuff is harder to control.

Bert provides a unique plug load management solution that delivers control to every square inch of a facility. Here’s how it works.  Each Bert device plugs into a traditional 120 VAC receptacle, and plugs are then plugged in. Bert is a WiFi based device, powered by a microprocessor, which communicates with control software using your existing wireless network.

To control plug load the facilities manager groups devices logically- by device type (like monitors) or location (like 2nd floor)- and creates a daily schedule for each device.  Office equipment can be automatically turned on when the building opens, and off when it closes. An override feature allows the manager to override the schedule to gain additional savings over vacations, or to reduce plug load quickly during a load shedding event.