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Plug Load Control

Receptacle Control Solutions

Receptacle control for plug loads

Automatic Shutoff Controls for Plug Loads and Lighting

One simple strategy to keep lights off when they are not needed involves Receptacle Control (also known as Plug Load Control), which automatically turns off plug loads to lighting and other unnecessary electronic devices when the space is vacated.

What are Plug Loads?

Plug loads include all devices that plug into a standard electrical outlet. Plug load control refines energy-saving efforts by automatically discontinuing power to designated plug loads when a space has been vacated. Plug load control also includes preventing “standby” or “vampire” loads, which can waste energy by continuing to draw electricity when the device appears to be OFF. Products not in use or on standby account for as much as 25 percent of total electrical consumption in commercial buildings. Examples include task lighting, computers, monitors, cell phone chargers, A/V equipment, and other electronic devices that can be switched OFF at night without causing harmful consequences.

Interpreting the Codes and Standards

Energy codes and standards require Receptacle Control or Plug Load Control. IECC 2021, ASHRAE 90.1 and 2019 California Title 24, Part 6 require controlled receptacles to have the same automatic shutoff function as lighting using either occupancy sensing or schedule based control. Plug-in strips and devices cannot be used for code compliance. Title 24 and NEC also require the controlled receptacles to be permanently marked to differentiate them from uncontrolled receptacles.

Receptacle Control Strategies

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