So when we have our cubicle devices on, we employees sometimes forget to turn them off when we leave for lunch, or even before leaving to go home for the day. You do it, I do it, we all do it. It’s inevitable, but it’s fixable. So naturally, there’s a lot of savings left on the table when this behavior happens. Plug Load Occupancy Sensors--what is essentially a power strip with an occupancy sensor attached to it--exist to help you get that back. They replace a workstation’s regular power strip and serves to turn off power to ancillary devices (monitors, desk lamps, heaters, phone chargers, etc.) when occupancy is not detected, by using an occupancy sensor that you would normally see on the ceiling or in the corner of a room. They come with special outlets that keep your computer tower on, and a special outlet that switches the auxiliary outlet. It checks the power draw going to the device, and if you were to drop the power draw, say by turning off the monitor, the power strip recognizes this, and turns off all the auxiliary devices. Neato! These set-it-and-forget-it devices are great, because they do what I sometimes (okay, often) forget to do.
Here’s a list of devices commonly found in cubicles, and their respective energy consumption in various states of use: