Stop for a minute and look around your desk. How many items are powered by electricity? Now, how many stay on … even when you are away?
You just discovered the potential of “plug load.” It refers to the items plugged in at your desk. Plug load is one energy reduction opportunity in the workplace that all employees have control over. And, technology is coming into the market to help each of us reduce our plug load.
While it’s not possible to manually turn things on and off as you occupy or leave your desk, there are now devices that can do it for you. They are basically power strips with sensors. They detect when you are there or devices are in use, and turn them on. And, they detect when you have left or they are not in use, and turn them off.
If there are items that you don’t want turned off (e.g. computers), these devices have outlets that are not sensor-controlled.
There are many levels of sophistication of these devices. Some sense electric use and determine when to shut off. Some include timers and can be programmed to power down.
The bottom-line is that technology is providing ways for each of us to help reduce electric consumption easily. We just have to look around and try some of these great ideas.