Advanced Plug Load Controls and Management in the Educational Environment

Mass deployment of advanced plug load management devices can cut energy and costs for community colleges

Newcomb Anderson McCormick, Inc.


Los Angeles, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The project team completed installations of nearly more than 3,500 plug load controllers across multiple community colleges. In 2020, the team collected more than one year of post-installation data. Currently, the devices are controlling approximately 700,000 kWh of annual baseline plug loads across all the demonstration sites. Preliminary results show that the plug load controllers are reducing the controlled plug loads by 20% or 142,000 kWh/yr. The team is currently finalizing their draft final report and technology transfer tasks for the project. The technology transfer activities include meeting with community college facility meetings to see if they will further adopt these technologies to other locations based on the savings presented.

The Issue

Advanced Plug Load Management Device (APMD) demonstration projects have only been conducted on a small scale (< 100 units). These studies have not evaluated large deployment, nor led to broad market acceptance/penetration. Many college buildings lack the ability to control plug loads. This project deploys and evaluates approximately 3,500 APMD units at multiple community college districts in investor-owned utility (IOU) service territories throughout California. This project offers opportunities for cost-effective market transformation of the plug load controls for the community college market.

Project Innovation

This project deploys APMD technology at approximately 3,500 computer workstations at several community colleges, and focuses on integrating the technology with facility operations to ensure that they meet the needs of the sites and staff. One of the devices is the Embertec Tier 2 Advanced Power Strip which controls an occupant's computer workstation by powering off when it detects no user presence by mouse movement or keyboard hits. The other device is the Ibis Intellisocket which controls large plug load end uses such as water coolers, TV displays, and large printers. Key features of the project include outreach and individual education programs to California Community College Districts, evaluation of sites for participation in the project, purchase and installation of APMDs at approved sites, measurement and verification (M&V) activities both pre- and post-APMD implementation at the selected demonstration sites. The goal is that the plug load controllers are reduce energy use by 20%.

Project Benefits

Reductions in electricity consumption and cost could occur with implementation of the APMD technology. Preliminary results show that the plug load controllers are reducing the controlled plug loads by 20%. Following project completion, the APMD systems will continue to provide savings throughout their 8 to 10 year expected useful life. Successful deployment at participating Districts could be leveraged to expand technology adoption to other community colleges.

Consumer Appeal

Consumer Appeal

The project gathers a wide range of data about the technology and its performance that will be incorporated into an outreach campaign to build awareness and accelerate adoption of APMD technology with IOUs, technology vendors, and property owners in institutional and commercial buildings statewide. In addition, APMDs will provide a new data visualization capability and plug load energy information system to the participating sites.

Lower Costs

Lower Costs

A conservative estimate of savings to the participating California Community College Districts is $850,000 per year in immediate and ongoing annual savings.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Matt Sullivan



TBD- California Community College Districts

Contact the Team