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Plug Loads and Tenant Energy Use Reduction

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

A guide to saving energy in tenant occupied spaces.

Plug Loads and Tenant Energy Use Reduction

Understanding Plug Loads and Tenant Energy Use

Energy use in tenant spaces can be significantly reduced by adopting simple user engagement strategies, upgrading to efficient appliances and equipment, sub-metering tenant spaces, and installing smart lighting controls.

How Tenants Use Energy

Plug loads refer to the amount of energy used through electrical outlets for things like electronics and appliances in tenant-occupied spaces that, along with lighting and other energy consuming equipment used by tenants, add up to a significant portion of electricity use in buildings, especially commercial offices.

Many opportunities to reduce plug loads and tenant energy use are relatively low-cost but require increased coordination and engagement with tenants. Combining inexpensive technology upgrades with tenant education and behavior change can help reduce energy use in both multifamily and commercial spaces.

During tenant turnovers, incorporating energy conservation practices into lease language helps establish energy use expectations. Educating tenants on efficiency best practices gives them the tools to reduce energy use and can create advocates within a building or occupant group. Tenants participating in plug load and energy use reduction programs may also be more receptive to other energy improvements and technology investments.

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