Energy Efficiency
Plug In Timers & Power Strips

What Is It?

Plug In Timers

Plug in timers are similar to programmable thermostats, but for energy-intensive appliances and electronics, such as single use coffee dispensers. Appliances like these constantly use energy (with coffee dispensers, it is to heat the water to boiling) even when the office is closed for the night or weekend. Timers are completely customizable to the office culture and schedule. We recommend using them on copy machines, printers, water coolers, coffee machines, and cable boxes.

Smart Power Strips

There are two popular types of power strips that help save energy: 1) A strip that uses a motion sensor to detect occupancy and hibernates the workstation accordingly and 2) A strip that detects the computer’s hibernation mode and automatically shuts off, preventing standby power from getting to anything else plugged in like cell phone chargers or personal printers.


“The GSA tested nearly 300 advanced power strips (APS) in eight buildings throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and found that the technology reduced plug loads by 26% at computer workstations and by 50% in printer rooms. The scheduled timers performed the best, bringing in average energy savings of nearly 50%. The payback period is even more impressive, with kitchen timers recouping their costs within half a year and printer rooms paying themselves back in just over a year. GSA concluded that “energy savings and low simple payback argue in favor of deployment of APS…throughout GSA’s portfolio.” Greentech Efficiency, May 2013.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Boston Properties
  • CB Richard Ellis
  • Dana-Farber
  • Equity
  • Gillette
  • Marriott
  • Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
  • Oxford Properties
  • Peabody Office Furniture
  • Pembroke Real Estate

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

  • MassSave: Advanced Power Strips
  • MassSave Trickle Strips and Belkin Plug In Timers for $10 – contact Matt Ouellette with Techniart at

Additional Resources

Additional Information

Plug In Timers

Power Strips

In The News