Field data collection of miscellaneous electrical loads in Northern California: Initial results, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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This report describes efforts to measure energy use of miscellaneous electrical loads (MELs) in 880 San Francisco Bay Area homes during the summer of 2012. Ten regions were selected for metering: Antioch, Berkeley, Fremont, Livermore, Marin County (San Rafael, Novato, Fairfax, and Mill Valley), Oakland/Emeryville, Pleasanton, Richmond, San Leandro, and Union City. The project focused on three major categories of devices: entertainment (game consoles, set-top boxes, televisions and video players), home office (computers, monitors and network equipment), and kitchen plug-loads (coffee/espresso makers, microwave ovens/toaster ovens/toasters, rice/slow cookers and wine chillers). These categories were important to meter because they either dominated the estimated overall energy use of MELs, are rapidly changing, or there are very little energy consumption data published. A total of 1,176 energy meters and 143 other sensors were deployed, and 90% of these meters and sensors were retrieved. After data cleaning, we obtained 711 valid device energy use measurements, which were used to estimate, for a number of device subcategories, the average time spent in high power, low power and “off” modes, the average energy use in each mode, and the average overall energy use. Consistent with observations made in previous studies, we find on average that information technology (IT) devices (home entertainment and home office equipment) 3 consume more energy (15.0 and 13.0 W, respectively) than non-IT devices (kitchen plugloads; 4.9 W). Opportunities for energy savings were identified in almost every device category, based on the time spent in various modes and/or the power levels consumed in those modes. Future reports will analyze the collected data in detail by device category and compare results to those obtained from prior studies.

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