Power Down, Power Off fact sheet, webinar, and final report by Seventhwave-CEE-LHB (Oct 2016) document savings in Minnesota office buildings from potential plug load reduction strategies, and address occupant acceptance, operational issues, and cost-effectiveness. In office spaces, plug loads account for approximately 28% of the energy used. In many high performance buildings it is closer to 40–50% (about 15 kBtu/ft2/yr).
Install a building management system for city buildings for control via office computer or home laptop; implement power management of computers and other information technology energy saving strategies. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Engage employees to turn off, unplug, enable power management (if not controlled by building-wide IT software), or set timers on equipment, lights and chargers; minimize/use efficient models of personal appliances (personal refrigerators, space heaters, fans, coffee pots, etc.); use task lights instead of ceiling fixtures; optimize active use of windows, doors and interior shading devices to conserve energy; implementation of cloud-based technology information systems for improving efficiency across departments. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria.
Who's doing it
Austin - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Recent upgrades at the Public Library included boiler work and maintenance of the existing Metasys building management system. The City of Austin adopted an energy usage policy in 2013, which is in the attachment.
Energy use at the City Office building, where a large group of city employees work saw an increase in energy use of 11+% prior to the energy policy adoption in May of 2013 and reduced that by 3% after the policy was adopted.
Burnsville power management settings are controlled through a Group Policy Object, which controls what users can and cannnot do on a computer system. City staff users cannot manipulate power management settings. Computers enter sleep mode after 15 minutes. Multi-function Devices enter sleep mode after 30 minutes.
Burnsville's Sustainability Team sends out monthly sustainability tips to city employees. The city installed light switch reminders on all light switch covers that read "Last to Ditch, Flip the Switch". The City performed a walk-through audit in 2012 before the behavioral campaign began, (audit numbers are attached a supporting document). A follow-up audit will be performed in the future.
The power management and control strategy for city buildings includes a building management system via an agreement for IT services with the City of Savage. Staff policy prohibits space heaters, coffee makers and products or appliances of a similar nature. Membership in the energy star product purchasing plan, installation of lighting timers and a customized HVAC operation and maintenance schedule are other steps the city has taken.
The City of Maplewood uses power management in all of its computers and office lighting, ensuring the power shuts off after an amount of time which the computer or light is not in use.
In 2015 the Maplewood participated in the Power Down plug load study. The study evaluated methods of reducing unnecessary plug load energy use (energy used by products that are powered by an AC plug).
The study was funded by the State of Minnesota to identify and prioritize plug load reduction strategies based on their potential to help achieve Minnesota’s energy saving goals. The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) and LHB Engineering/Planning conducted the study which included plug load energy monitors, plug load management, and plug load education and incentives. The results of the study will be available mid-year 2016.
The city's sanitary sewer system has 11 lift stations to pump sewage from low areas of the community to the large regional collector pipe. The city upgraded each of the lift stations with new SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) control panels in 2007. The computer-based SCADA equipment provides additional information that makes it possible for utility personnel to more effectively monitor and maintain the lift stations. The new equipment is particularly important when multiple lift stations experience electrical power outages at the same time.
The city implemented a computer power management system to reduce plug loads and building energy use in 2015. City computers are put to sleep when not in use and the city utilizes energy-efficient IT equipment whenever possible.
The City has installed The VendingMiser is equipped with an occupancy sensor and a temperature monitor (internal and external). These two components work together to lower energy consumption while ensuring that the products stay cold and the machine stays on when occupants are in the surrounding area. To elaborate, when the surrounding area is unoccupied for 15 minutes, the VendingMiser will turn off the machine for 1-3 hours. It will turn on if someone enters the area or if the products need to be cooled. The City of Saint Paul therefore saved over $3,000 by participating in the bulk purchase program. At the discounted price, the VendingMisers achieved a payback of just over 16 months.
The City’s Information Technology Department has also invested in computer power management systems in City offices. City computers are set up to sleep after idling for a designated period of time. The City is also currently exploring smartboards that can shut down computers after a designated period of time idling.
The City has also worked with students from Macalester college to do a campaign to City staff about turning off monitors, lights, and closing window blinds when not these items are not in use.
- B3 online benchmarking application to track power usage in buildings such as (City Office/Shop-2008), (Warren Fire Hall and Warren Library-2008), (North Star Assisted Living-2015 and Manor-2012), and the Westbridge Center-2013).
-Meters that automatically record and track naturla gas, electricity, and water usage on a units/per day basis.
-Implemented a city policy to use an information technology system using outdoor temperatures to set and establish heating/cooling requirements for each building to save energy.
-Westbridge Center uses a building management system to control operating hours of the building's non-essential energy usage.
-City of Warren uses orientation of new employees/existing employees as well as providing a suitable and adequate kitchenette in its break rooms to discourage use of personal appliances as well as implementing a shutdown policy in which all electronics are shutdown in offices/buildings.
-Custodians are scheduled to come in immediately following the end of business hours (4:30 PM) rather than bringing them in later and using more energy
-Majority of offices have task lighting as well as windows and shades that provide adequate outdoor lighting.
-Occupancy lighting installed in the break room in 2011
-Public policy was implemented to set standards for heating/cooling buildings
- 15 buildings using meters to record natural gas, electricity, and water usage to B3 benchmarking
-Since January 2012; City Office has been below the benchmark goal 75% (52 out of 69 months)
-Since January 2009; City Shop has been below benchmark goal 100% (105 out of 105 months)
-Since January 2009; Warren Library has been below the benchmark 49% of the time
The city has recently completed upgrades to each lift station by adding a new SCADA (Supervisory Control and data Acquisition) system used for monitoring flows to the wastewater treatment facility. The lift stations previously would operate on control floats prior to the upgrades where there was numerous problems with high flows causing the tangling up of floats which would result in a high, low or no alarm that should notify that an inappropriate level condition would exist. Each lift stations can be monitored from the wastewater treatment facility for current flow and the level of the contents in the lift station as the SCADA system is tied into the computers at the wastewater treatment facility. The lift stations also use the SCADA system as an emergency dialer to contact and notify the operators, if and when, an abnormal condition exists. Each lift station has a backup generator in case of power outages when they occur.
Belle Plaine power management settings are controlled by the systems administrator. Individual network users are not able to adjust their computer systems. Computer displays enter shut down after five (battery) or 15 (plugged in) of inactivity. Computers automatically enter sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity Multi-function devices are energy star rated and default to display shutdown after five minutes of inactivity. City hall has customized HVAC operation schedule. HVAC system is routinely inspected and maintained.
The city of Crookston monitor B3 Benchmarking information for natural gas and electricity for city owned buildings. These buildings include the Crookston Sports Center, Terminal, Water Treatment Plant, Valley Technology Park, City Hall, Fire hall, and the Library.
The city enacts an electronic shutdown policy within city buildings. This would involve turning off computers, lamps, and other electronics over night or when otherwise not in use. By doing so, the city will decrease energy usage by preventing vampire energy. Current and future employees will be informed/reminded of this policy.
MIS Division has centralized control of all City computers and uses power management controls such as standard sleep settings.
Working jointly with divisions to identify centralized printing options, Duluth was able to reduce the number of printers in the organization by 100. The new centralized devices are all energy star rated.
Fuel Misers Committee and Challenge/Engaging employees in city efforts to reduce energy.
The 20-40-15 Initiative, first rolled out by the City of Eden Prairie in December 2006, calls for the City to improve energy efficiency in all of its facilities by 20 percent, increase the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by 40 percent, and accomplish these goals by the year 2015.
Fuel Misers Challenge: Employees are asked the following question through the intranet--What are your ideas for how the City can find even more energy savings?
Help the City of Eden Prairie meet and maybe exceed its energy efficiency goals!
How does Fuel Misers work?
Employees use an online form to submit an idea to help the City increase the energy efficiency of its vehicles or buildings. Employees are encouraged to make energy-saving suggestions and give thoughts on how the City could implement the idea.
All ideas are reviewed and scored by the Fuel Misers Committee bimonthly for eight months, beginning May 2013.
Committee members independently rate all submissions scoring each from 0-60 points. Based on total points, the first and second-highest scoring employee ideas will be eligible for the bimonthly prizes. Employee ideas must score at least 30 points and receive City Manager approval to be eligible for prizes.
If the same suggestion is submitted by different employees, the committee will accept the first one submitted, as shown by email time stamp.
If an employee suggestion scores at least 30 points, but does not garner a rating necessary for first or second place, it will remain in the pool for consideration for the duration of the challenge. Once an employee has earned a prize for an idea, they may continue to submit suggestions, but will not earn additional prizes.
Examples of ideas submitted by City Employees:
Suggestion: Coordinate all city mowing crews. This will allow route mapping for all mowing operations, resulting in reduced fuel usage. It will also allow reduction in equipment required.
Implementation: Map and evaluate all city areas currently mowed. Identify sites where multiple crews from different departments overlap. Use GPS/AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) to track and plan progress. System will be similar to our snow plowing.
Suggestion: Improve driving habits to increase mileage. Pick one driving habit every month for your group.
Implementation: First driving habit to work on – be aware of traffic and upcoming traffic signs and signals where you know you will be stopping. For example, the light up ahead is turning yellow and you know it will turn red before you get up there, traffic ahead is stopped and you see brake lights, etc. At that point, take your foot off the gas and coast to a stop, thus not using fuel.
Suggestion: Place encouraging "take the stairs" stickers near elevators in all City buildings (including the Community Center) to encourage stair use when feasible. Not only does it save the City energy, it promotes good health. Stickers could be positive, saying, "Save Energy! Burn Calories! Take the Stairs."
Implementation: Decals could be purchased and placed near elevator buttons or even on elevator doors.
City employees are required to shut lights and computers off every evening to save power. Appliances also not in use are often unplugged. Some lights in City Hall are further now motion sensing lights saving power when no one is around.
The City has been reducing the number of servers it has by moving to a virtualized computer infrastructure. We will complete virtualization in 2017 pending approval of funding.
Additionally, all desktop computers, monitors, and notebook computers are EnergyStar certified and EPEAT Gold compliant. For details on specific products we purchase, please visit the links below:
Desktop Computers: https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-computers/details/2245425.
The New Marshall High School, Marshall Area YMCA, and Community Library all implemented a number of efficiency improvements during their construction within the last 10 years. Additional engineering and efficiency improvement rebates were provided through Marshall Municipal Utilities Energy Efficiency Rewards Program. Energy Management Systems are utilized at the Marshall High School, Junior High School, New Library, YMCA, and Municipal Utility office to control energy usage and costs. The energy management system at the new library controls light levels through daylight harvesting in addition to controlling HVAC settings based on time of day and occupancy.
Common practice for all new City and School computer, office equipment, electronics, and appliance purchases is to specify ENERGY STAR models when available.
The City waste water plant, lift stations, utility office, and water plant all participate in Utility Interruptible rates to control demand and energy costs.
Energy usage is continuously monitored through Minnesota B3 benchmarking. The School is in the process of re-commissioning to further improve it's efficiency and is seeking ENERGY STAR Certification.
The city of Minnetonka implemented city-wide power management settings for all employees. Under the new settings, all computers enter into a power-saving sleep mode after 15-minutes of inactivity. City staff has been sending out energy savings tips to all employees every other week. Where appropriate, the city has installed motion sensors on lights, stickers on plug-ins as a reminder to unplug unused appliances; and switch covers. These energy saving efforts are being tracked as part of the Class 5 Energy partnership.
City has continued implementing cloud based technology information systems for improving efficiency across departments promoting flexibility, mobility, accountability, accessibility, transparency, reliability and sustainability thus incorporating goal for 100% green and paperless in the next five years and reduction in energy usage.
Agenda/Minutes/Video Cloud Based System
Network Infrastructure Cloud Based System
Enterprise Applications Cloud Based System
- Multi-Functions Copiers
All city computers automatically programmed to go into sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. Office and meeting room lighting is turned off when space is unoccupied. Staff is encouraged to share ideas to reduce energy use and save the city money by submitting ideas to the Innovation Committee. Staff who submit actions that are implemented city-wide receive recognition and a gift card.
City employees will turn off computers, monitors and printers when leaving for the day. All charging devices will be unplugged from the wall when not in use. Office lights will be turned off when leaving the office for meetings, lunch, or during the day.
Electronic measurement will be taken with a device to estimate computer electrity usage during the month of January, 2012.
The City is piloting a behavioral-based energy reduction program with Class 5 Energy. The pilot began in the summer of 2012. The pilot provides signs and communication templates for the City to use to communicate with employees about saving energy. The City has utilized these. The City has begun sending out email communication monthly to all employees with information about how they can save energy in the work place. The City also creates an Energy Newsletter for employees, attached. The City sends out email reminders sporadically to all city employees reminding them to shut down their computers and monitors at the end of the day. The City is in the process of implementing an internal Energy Policy that will significantly reduce plug loads and building energy use. The policy should be adopted by 2014. The City has hosted two seminars for employees about how they can save energy at work, and at home.
The Use and Energy Conservation section of the city’s Technology Policy (AD-IT 5.2) recommends each employee power down computer monitors at the end of a regular work day and the entire computer system and printers if they will not be returning the following day. It also states that desktops have been programmed to “go into an energy-saving state after twenty minutes of inactivity.” The City of Woodbury has virtualized 53% of their servers which allows servers to run on the same physical server computer which reduces their overall electrical use and heat generation. The city has also purchased ultra slim desktop computers for over 90% of the city staff which are Energy Star qualified, EPEAT Gold with 87% efficient external power supply configuration. The city has installed occupancy sensors for lights in all offices in City Hall and Public Safety. Woodbury City Council passed a resolution to be an Energy Star Partner in 2009.
The RETAP team of William Rois and Rin Porter conducted an energy use and waste
reduction assessment of the Brainerd City Hall located at 501 Laurel Street, Brainerd, Minnesota, on July 10,2008. The RETAP team met with Mark Ostgarden, City Planner, and Jeff Hulsether,
Maintenance Supervisor, and then toured the building with Mr. Hulsether. A follow-up meeting was held on September 5 with Rin Porter and Norm Ledeboer from RETAP, and Mr. Ostgarden and Mr.
Hulsether from the City of Brainerd.
This evaluation directed The City of Brainerd in what they need to do in order to be more energy efficient. Issues will be resolved as they come up, and the city was given projections of how much money they can save monthly and yearly from the RETAP evaluation
Building management program installed to manage all heating and cooling units in all major city buildings from office computer or home laptop. Allows us to program units for evening set back temp, none work days, holidays and occupance sensors to shut rooftop units off.
Building management system gives us the opportunity to save on our gas and electric bills by controlling the run time of our heating and cooling units.
Ottertail Power provided rebates for new lighting in the gym, the Ralph Bjelland Memorial Building and the Community Center. All lights and computers are made sure to be turned off at the end of the day.
The City of Mankato has been participating in the MN Energy Challenge since 2008. Mankato has both a citywide teamm open to all residents, as well as City organization/staff team.
In 2012, the City adopted a policy which limits personal appliances within offices and workspaces as part of a remodeling project of the City Intergovernmental Center. Updated meeting rooms utilize sensors to provide overhead energy-efficient LED lighting only while movement is detected within meeting spaces.
Residents of Mankato on the citywide team have saved an estimated 565,346 lbs of C02, and savings of $42,554. There are 106 community members that pledged to participate in the Energy Challenge. The City staff has 13 active participants, which have saved an estimated 100,940 lbs of C02 from produced during City operations, as well as a savings of approximately $10,540.
Power has been actively managed on all City PC’s (desktops and notebooks) since around 2011. During business hours (between 7:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.) approximately half of all PCs, the display turns off after 15 minutes of inactivity and the PC will go to sleep after 45 minutes of inactivity. These settings are enforced and cannot be changed by staff. PCs that are not on this power plan are those that are a part of emergency services or are left on due to staff complaints. Backlights on desk phones are disabled after 60 minutes, decreasing energy usage from about 5.6 W to 3.6 W (1.5-2W per phone). This feature also saves roughly 15% of the power load on network infrastructure equipment.
Although we do not enforce any power plans on infrastructure equipment outside of business hours aside from the backlight timeout on desk phones (due to 24x7 support for Fire, Police, and Public Services), we do have a number of other information technology energy saving efforts going on wherever they are feasible. Server virtualization is used for 88 out of 101 servers. Additionally, blade servers are used to save 30% of electrical use and subsequently 30% of cooling. As much as possible, IT has been moving from 110V power to 220V power – most high power equipment is located in two server rooms that run almost entirely on 220V.
In addition, IT has identified a number of areas that currently are energy inefficient, and will take steps to mediate these problems as it becomes feasible. No education/encouragement on electrical consumption of IT or other equipment currently exists in the SafePersonnel training system, and it is possible that a custom course could be developed on the topic in the near future.
The City uses SpiceWorks to manage computer power management. All city monitors are set to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity. City computers are programmed to automatically shut off at 10pm and turn on at 5am.
The City of St. Anthony participates in energy peak shaving programs through Xcel Engergy. The City operates the city wells off of generator power during peak electrical useage time and recieves rebates from Xcel for participation in the program.
The City of St. Louis Park purchased a software program, PwrSmart, which enables computer & monitor power management for all city owned computers. The program allows for multiple schedules put the majority of computers and monitors are shutdown at 7:00 pm.
The program provides data on greenhouse gas reduction and energy savings based on the computer schedules.
The city of Victoria mandates all computers and lights to be turned off at the end of the day. Lights in bathrooms in city hall have an automatic sensor and turn off when not in use. Conference rooms and break rooms and personal office spaces are encouraged to use light from windows when in use and no electricity when not in use.
The new city hall building and library uses less energy. There are more windows and doors, there fore less need for lighting.
The City receives rebates from Dakota Electric and other utilities as a result of the projects funded through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Examples where rebates were received include building recommissioning work and interior lighting upgrades. The City also participates in Dakota Electric's load shedding program to reduce peak demand electricity needs, which results in a rebate to the City.
MN Office of Energy Security PV Solar Project- Local Government Renewable Energy Grant. A solar panel project will be installed on City Hall. Payback for the City's portion of the project will be about 12 years. To be completed July 2011.
The city is also participating in the Small Cities Development Program to assist local businesses and residents to make energy upgrades (roofing, siding, windows, insulation, new furnaces, etc.). We partnered with the cities of Little Falls and Pierz so a total of 21 homes and 9 businesses in the area can make their homes/businesses more energy efficient. Some of the money is a 0% loan, some 1% and another portion is up to the business/home owner. Money repaid goes into a revolving loan fund in the city to help others make energy improvements.
No data on energy savings with the Small Cities Development Program at this time.