Tooele County School District

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Energy Conservation

ENERGY UPDATES AND IDEAS

Usage and Savings REPORTS

October 2013

OCTOBER IS ENERGY AWARENESS MONTH

 

 

We would again like to thank ALL EMPLOYEES for their help in an excellent summer shutdown this year. We also appreciate your continuing efforts in assuring that your classrooms/areas are shutdown on a daily basis.

 

REMINDER:  Buildings are closed on Sundays.

ENERGY SAVINGS TIPS AND REMINDERS

  • Turn off lights with the light switch whenever leaving offices, classrooms and conference rooms.
  • In common areas and gymnasiums only use the amount of lighting that is necessary for the activity. All gymnasium lighting does not need to be on all the time.
  • Please do not plug fans, space heaters or shredders into the same surge protector as your electronic equipment. Those devices can damage electronic equipment when they share a surge protector.
  • Turn off computer monitors and hard drives when not in use.  Set your computer monitor to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. Enable the sleep settings on your computer monitor. Sleep settings save energy, screensavers do not.
  • Turn off PCs, monitors, printers, copiers, and lights every night and on weekends. If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.

 

Advanced Power Strips(APS): A Smarter Way to Save

Key Points

  • Plug loads account for as much as 14 percent of the electricity used in commercial facilities.
  • Advanced power strips automatically shut off power to designated plugged-in equipment.
  • A U.S. Department of Energy study has found that advanced power strips can provide significant energy savings.

Plug loads (devices that are plugged into wall outlets) account for 11 to 14 percent of the total electricity consumed by commercial buildings and an estimated 25 percent of electricity used in office buildings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Commonly used plug loads include computers, printers, task lighting and personal appliances as well as some production equipment. Many of these devices consume power 24 hours a day even when they are not being used, wasting energy and costing you money. Unplugging devices throughout your facility is not always feasible. Advanced power strips (APS) – also known as smart plug strips – provide a convenient way to reduce some of your plug load and operating costs.

Types of advanced power strips

 

APS devices resemble normal power strips, but include energy-saving capabilities for the connected equipment. There are an abundance of APS devices available on the market and each differs in complexity, control strategy, data collection ability and cost. An APS has one master control outlet and as many as six automatically switched outlets that power off connected devices when the control load is turned off. Two or three constant or “hot” outlets are available for equipment that must remain on. There are four major types of APS devices:

  • Current-sensing units detect the drop in electric current that occurs when connected equipment enters a lower power mode. When the current draw of designated equipment drops below a certain threshold, the APS shuts off power to the controlled outlets. For example, when a computer connected to an APS powers down due to enabled power management, the APS powers off other devices connected to the unit.
  • Occupancy-sensing devices detect the presence or absence of a user and automatically power on or off the connected equipment accordingly.
  • Timer-equipped units turn equipment on and off based on a programmed schedule.
  • Wireless units allow users to disconnect power to all equipment plugged into the controlled outlets by using a remote that is programmed for use with the APS. Some APS devices include a Web-based system that allows users to change control strategies and view the energy consumption of connected equipment in real time.

 

Advanced power strips save energy

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently conducted a study to test the effectiveness of APS devices in controlling the energy consumption of plug loads. Eight buildings where plug loads averaged 21 percent of total energy use were selected. In each building, 12 standard power strips were replaced with APS devices that monitored and controlled nearly 300 connected devices. Three control strategies were used: scheduled timer, load-sensing and a combination of the two. The study found that significant energy savings can be achieved through deployment of APS devices. Scheduled timer was the most successful of the three control strategies, resulting in an average energy savings of 48 percent. The load-sensing and combination strategies saved energy, but were somewhat less effective. For individual equipment, APS controls reduced the energy use of printers by 35 percent, kitchen appliances by 46 percent and laptops by 21 percent. Overall, the study revealed that payback for APS installations ranged from less than one year to eight years depending on the application and control strategy, and that simple control strategies work best.

 

Selecting and operating advanced power strips

Contact a participating vendor or visit Rocky Mountain Power’s website to learn more about wattsmart incentives for smart plug strips before you purchase. APS devices are available at retail outlets or through your electrical equipment supplier. They vary widely in cost, depending on the features they provide. Many APS devices, for example, include surge protection capabilities. The type you choose depends on your budget, your plug load and the control strategy you wish to implement. Look for devices that are UL-listed for safe operation. When installing APS devices, provide thorough training for facility managers and all affected staff members. By sharing the purpose of these devices (and how they are best applied) with staff, you can help to optimize their effectiveness in saving energy. Whenever possible, give individual staff members the ability to customize their own controls.

 

References

(Metzger, Ian. “Plug-Load Control and Behavioral Change Research in GSA Office Buildings." National Renewable Energy Laboratory. June 2012.)

 

Please see the energy savings and cost avoidance reports that are attached. These reports will let you know how your facility is doing and the cost of the utilities for your facility.

 

If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please let us know!