Center for Integrated Design


NEEA Commercial Code Enhancement


The UW IDL is developing technical briefs to support NEEA’s Commercial Code Enhancement initiative, which aims to bridge the gap between market practices and state policies by identifying, assessing, and validating the feasibility and affordability of the next-generation technologies and practices. By queuing up these technologies and practices, building market awareness and capability, and creating market support of new code measures the alliance is paving the way for the Northwest to adopt solution-oriented, market-supported technologies and practices.

To date, IDL has developed a draft technology brief providing an overview of controlled electric receptacle technology, savings potential, and implementation in codes. The brief focuses on miscellaneous electrical loads (MELs), which represent a significant end‐use component in most commercial building types. Since MELs (frequently referred to as “plug‐loads”) are largely unregulated, the magnitude of MELs in commercial building is largely contingent on occupancy patterns, building‐user types, and the density and type of equipment in use. As many end‐use types have been reduced over time due to improvements in equipment efficiency and increasingly stringent energy codes, the total consumption of MELs (office equipment: other) continues to grow at a significant rate (2.5%) over time. Further, in the region’s highest performing buildings, MELs represent one‐third to one‐half of end‐use energy.