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WattStopper’s Free PlugCalc Identifies Energy Savings From Automatically Controlling Plug Loads

WattStopper has developed PlugCalc as a key component in its Energy Calculator Tool Kit. The tool is available online at http://www.wattstopper.com/calculators/ or as a free downloadable iPad app.

WattStopper's Free PlugCalc Identifies Energy Savings From Automatically Controlling Plug LoadsPlugCalc enables users to calculate energy savings opportunities as well as Return on Investment (ROI) by automatically controlling plugged in office equipment and other plug loads. These loads represent a growing source of electrical consumption in commercial applications, accounting for as much as 20% of total energy use in office buildings (data from the Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Building End-Use Consumption Survey).

Built on the same user-friendly model as the existing Lighting Energy Calculator, the online version of PlugCalc features fill-in fields and drop-down menus to simplify the calculation process. To identify power usage of each plug load, visitors can accept the default power rating published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is built into the tool, or select the setting by activating the slider. Users can easily compute potential energy savings of up to eight different plug loads by selecting them from a pull down menu of typical office equipment (computer monitors, computer speakers, task lighting, personal printers, personal charging devices, scanners, USB hubs). Users can also create customized device lists. As with the Lighting Energy Calculator tool, PlugCalc allows users to print their calculation out or email results directly from the webpage.

The iPad version provides the same functionality via touch pad, and users can email results to their laptop for printing.

“Using PlugCalc is easy and offers fast information to users about the potential energy savings found at every desk in every office,” notes Jeff Park, LEED AP, CLEP, Manager of Sustainable Market Development. “Many office workers leave equipment plugged in and on 24/7; that’s 8760 hours per year of electrical consumption for computer monitors, computer speakers, task lighting, personal air fresheners, personal charging devices and more. Most of these devices can easily be controlled for significant energy savings.”

Park notes that many building energy codes are evolving toward mandatory plug load controls in the near future, such as ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 that will require automatic control of 50% of receptacles installed in an enclosed space, including receptacles installed in modular partitions. “PlugCalc will make it easier for professionals and facility managers to identify ways they can comply with these codes,” Park says. “Providing different user options, such as an iPad app as well as the online version, offers maximum convenience to design professionals in the field.”

For more information about WattStopper, visit www.wattstopper.com.

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