How Can You

Save Energy?

Plug Loads Matter

Making a difference is easier than you might think. It's true that you may not have control over how much your building is being heated or cooled, but your building plug load is something you can almost certainly take action on! 


The first thing to be aware of how many things are plugged in. All of the devices connected to power outlets are creating one big plug load. In typical office spaces, computers and monitors tend to account for the majority of plug load devices. But that's not all: printers and other office electronics, including your coffee maker and water cooler, are all contributing to the building's demand for electricity.

People on campus generally have the most impact on electricity usage, because it involves turning on lights and using plugs. On average, lighting alone accounts for around 15% of an office building's electricity use on campus. 

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An Average Workday

Let's look at the energy consumption of someone working on campus in an office. For example, Dan works on a Macbook. He gets in at about 7:30 a.m. every day, and leaves around 4:00 p.m. We can track the amount of energy he uses in an average workday by following the graph below.

Turns on and plugs in laptop.

Opens web browser, chat, and email.

Unplugs laptop and leaves for the day.

Steps away for

a meeting.

Leaves for lunch break!

Why Unplugging Matters

Standby power, also known as vampire load, phantom power, or ghost load, is the electricity consumed by an electronic device while it is “turned off” or on standby mode. Vampire devices slowly drain energy from plugged-in devices without you noticing. While most people don’t think twice about the devices they leave plugged in, taking a moment to unplug electronics can add up to big energy savings!

Thanks for helping us save energy at UC Davis.