In the summer of 2018, we launched a plug load inventory to find out what non-essential appliances were being used by staff and how much energy they were using.

The inventory looked at all work stations, kitchenettes and copy rooms across campuses. The data, taken on iPads using excel spreadsheets, took just over 64 hours to collect. Every non-essential appliance in each space, whether plugged in or not, was counted. We also looked into whether workstations were energy-efficient, sustainable, and comfortable for employees.


Percentage of inventoried items by group:

Item %
Personal Office Supplies 21%
Kitchen Appliances 20%
Additional Lighting 17%
Heating and Cooling 17%
Beverage Appliances (coffee makers & water coolers) 14%
Other 3%

Key findings

  • A lot of appliances are left plugged in and/or turned on during the holidays, including desk speakers, fridges, etc.
  • Fridges use a high amount of energy. They account for 16.3% of the total energy consumption inventoried, despite accounting for only 9% of the items.
  • Many water coolers are not used often. As a whole, they cost the College $26,000 annually and consume energy.
  • Of all the RRC campuses, Notre Dame Campus has the most work station spaces, having 981. Roblin Campus has 190. The lowest was the Selkirk Campus, which has five.

Based on the inventory, we came up with several initiatives to reduce plug load. There are also commitments the College can make to create healthy environments that are comfortable and efficient. These include ensuring certain temperatures in offices and that there are common area spaces where staff can share appliances.

See our eTV Plug Load Inventory presentation.