A sneaky culprit is decreasing many businesses’ energy efficiency while driving up costs – plug loads.

Simply put, plug loads describes devices or equipment that get their energy from an outlet in your business. Not inclusive of a building’s HVAC or lighting system, this can be made up of electronics and appliances, including computers, copy machines, vending machines, refrigerators and printers.

Plug loads make up 33 percent of commercial energy use. Whether it be active power mode or phantom loads where electronics are in “off” mode but still plugged into a power source, devices are continually using energy in ways you may not even realize.

While it may seem unavoidable, there are simple steps you can take to avoid increased energy use and costs associated with plug loads:

  • In areas that contain a number of electronic devices, use advanced power strips, like motion-sensing, current-sensing, or timer-controlled strips, that shut down equipment when not in use.
  • Activate power management options in equipment like computers, printers and copiers during non-business hours to decrease phantom load energy use by anywhere from 45 to 90 percent.
  • Up your building’s energy efficiency by using ENERGY STAR-approved products.
  • Switch to LED computer monitors that offer more significant energy savings than larger cathode-ray-tube screens.

Learn more about how to increase your business’ energy efficiency by visiting dteenergy.com/savenow.

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