Bert Delivers the Plug Load Piece of the Energy Management Puzzle

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Small Loads

Welcome to Bert’s new blog, Small Things. The blog will feature topics related to commercial plug and hardwired loads. Each post covers a single topic in a short, easy-to-digest format.

Control for “Everything Else” in the Building

Bert delivers the missing piece of the energy management puzzle, control and management of miscellaneous electric loads not connected to Building Automation Systems (BAS).

The BAS handles HVAC, lighting and mechanical systems, but doesn’t address loads like printers, copiers, classroom electronics, vending machines, exhaust fans, break room equipment, window AC units, electric hot water heaters or air handling units.

Bert describes these loads – which are outside of a building’s core functions – as “everything else” in commercial buildings.

Bert controls everything else

Bert’s patented wireless energy management platform for miscellaneous electric loads saves energy and provides valuable insight into building operations; collecting and storing real-time granular device, measurement and temperature data for increased efficiency and comfort. The platform includes the ability to integrate these loads into BACnet/IP building automation systems.

Data about 30,000+ Plug and Hardwired Loads

Bert hardware controls over 30,000 plug and hardwired loads in 700 buildings in school districts, colleges, local governments, office buildings, and sporting venues.

Bert has collected lots of data about how many and what kinds of devices are found in different types of buildings along with specifics about energy consumption and usage patterns for different devices.

Based on conversations with ESCO partners building operators and BAS vendors, we know these loads are not well understood. Whether it’s information about which devices use the most energy or potential energy savings, we’re ready to share what we’ve learned in this blog.

Small Loads Add up to Big Energy Expenses

Even though the individual loads are small, miscellaneous electric loads are the fastest growing, and often the largest source of energy usage in commercial buildings.

To put these loads into context:

According to the Department of Energy, devices with non-traditional end uses consumed over 7 quadrillion BTU in 2012. That’s enough dynamite to carve Mount Rushmore 135,800,000 times, according to the Department of Energy’s Direct Currents Energy Unit Calculator which uses alternative energy units to make energy consumption easier to understand.

The Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2015 forecasts that primary energy consumption from commercial MELS will grow 27% from 2016 to 2030 and the. contribution of commercial MELs to total building energy consumption increases from 36% in 2016, to 43% in 2030 under its business-as-usual scenario.

Standby or overnight loads associated with MELs account for more than 100 billion kWh and $ 11 billion in annual energy costs in the United States alone, according to Energy Star®. That’s the same amount of energy used in 6,116 Moon Landings.