Sustainability – Update on Energy use in the Office Proof of Concept

Back in April I told you about a small proof of concept we were planning to measure energy use in the office environment and then use that established baseline to test different energy saving methods.  I thought it would be good to give you a quick status update on the work done to date.

The PoC is currently underway, and in fact, is nearing completion.  Like I mentioned in April, it is pretty small with just 12 users, but we hope the results will help direct what we might later try on a larger scale.

We started the PoC on Friday May 15th with meter loggers installed on 6 circuits monitoring energy use for the 12 users in the PoC every 3 minutes.  We ran the metering for 2 weeks before telling the PoC users to establish an uninfluenced baseline.

After setting the baseline, we split the 12 users in to 3 groups, each focusing on a different energy savings technique.

One group receives information on their energy use every 2 days showing how much energy they are using, what it is costing, and a few simple tips on how they might reduce their energy use.  Nothing is forced.  In this group, we are looking at how “Awareness” alone might change behavior.

The second group installed a 3rd party agent on their systems which allows us to enforce more restrictive energy management profiles than they might normally use.  The software also allows us to record time in state on each system, thereby providing a degree of “soft” individual system metering.

The last group had USB triggered power strips installed in their offices, connected to their docking stations, which automatically power off all devices in their offices that do not need to be on when they are not there.  We connected devices such as; task lighting, displays, and chargers to these strips.

We are in the last week of data collecting now, so stay tuned for some high-level results to be posted soon and possibility a full paper published later.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you are doing or have done anything similar in your enterprise.