Successfully Integrating Occupants into Plug Load Reduction Measures

Amorette Getty, University of California, Santa Barbara

Significant work can be done on the front and back ends to minimize instrument plug loads in the laboratory environment, via design efforts by instrument manufacturers, procurement arrangements and incentives, strategic installation and monitoring, and good building design. These measures and technologies have a high potential for ongoing low-effort high-yield plug load reductions when put into place. On the other hand, one of the first avenues often examined by green labs programs is engaging laboratory occupants in plug load optimization and management efforts. This is also one of the most time- and labor-intensive strategies, but it is strongly desirable in terms of encouraging sustainability awareness throughout an institution, not to mention that poor user choices and habits can make or break many of our clever installation and design measures. This presentation will provide a "top ten" list for those starting up and maintaining new green labs programs, outlining occupant engagement strategies and known pitfalls which have been encountered on university campuses over the last half-decade or more of user-focused green labs efforts.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify important strategies for occupant engagement in laboratory greening efforts, with a focus toward plug load management.
  • Avoid known pitfalls in user outreach efforts to maximize the success of your program.
  • Integrate user-focused efforts and back/front-end plug load management strategies for maximum effect on both fronts.


Amorette Getty is co-Director of the LabRATS Lab Sustainability Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In that role she has led a wide range of user-focused and facility-level sustainability programs, addressing issues surrounding energy, water, and material management in the laboratories. She also works to maximize the efficiency of laboratory research at a broader level, advocating for increased access to shared-use instrumentation and increased information sharing among technical experts in the laboratory. Her PhD in Material Science, also from UCSB, focused on semiconductor growth and processing for energy-efficient LED lighting.


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