Creating Connections. Powering Innovation. Boosting Efficiency.

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About CalPlug


The California Plug Load Research Center was established in 2011 to improve energy efficiency in the use and design of plug-load devices. CalPlug focuses on energy efficiency solutions, efficiency evaluations of consumer electronics, standards development, education, public outreach, and user behavior studies. CalPlug will address challenges in plug load efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings by collaborating closely with utilities, manufacturers, advocacy groups, research institutions, and energy policy makers. 

Vision Statement

Since 2012, CalPlug has been fulfilling its mission of building a greener future by developing, evaluating, and promoting best practices and approaches and disseminate knowledge between energy stakeholders and the broader community.

Mission Statement

Advancing electrical energy efficiency and environmental stewardship by performing high quality multi-disciplinary research, while fostering connections and education between stakeholders in manufacturing, utilities, state, and the community. In process of this primary objective, CalPlug seeks to educate the next generation of technical leaders through hands-on problem-solving education in collaboration with the University of California Irvine.

Current Problem

Ubiquitous plug-load devices include appliances, electronics and tools—anything that plugs into an electrical outlet. Currently, these devices are responsible for as much as 20 percent of the electrical consumption in buildings, and 30 percent by 2030. To exacerbate the situation, a majority of these devices consume power even when not in use—the much dreaded “phantom power” which accounts for over 15 gigawatts of power consumption, worldwide, 24/7. The plug loads, if not well managed, could disable California’s plans for Zero Net Energy in new homes by 2020.

CalPlug's Area's of Focus

Creating connections between academia, industry, and policy makers.

Powering innovation by in-depth studies of plug-load devices and their real-world uses.

Boosting efficiency by looking at technical and behavioral solutions to curb plug load energy consumption.

Organizational Values Statement

CalPlug and its activities are guided by an advisory board, a chief technology counsel, and an academic advisory committee. The founding board members include experienced directors from major organizations and industry players, such as the California Energy Commission, Southern California Edison, Broadcom Corporation, the Consumer Electronics Association and UCI leadership. The Director of the center is G.P. Li, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and director of Calit2.


CalPlug is an organization based on high quality multi-disciplinary academic leadership, holding high value to quality research and evaluation activities. In workshops, technical reports and other forums, effective communication of scientific information to a general audience to provide actionable information is a key goal. Individual growth is encouraged at all levels of the organization.


CalPlug invites all interested groups to join the effort as members and partners. The center’s success depends on support and interactions from all sides. Working together through research, testing, demonstrations, and information exchange we can advance energy efficiency, environmental quality and economic growth. Current affiliates are the California Energy Commission(CEC) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power(LADWP). If you are interested in supporting CalPlug and its mission, please contact Patricia Lim at

Friends of CalPlug:
ComEd; SDG&E; Smartenit; EMBERTECH; TrickleStar; DIRECTV (AT&T); Southern California Edison; PG&E


CalPlug’s physical facilities include an engineering lab, test and demonstration rooms, offices, and space for meetings — over 8,000 sq. ft. in all, located on the building’s fourth floor. Calit2 administers CalPlug and provides it with access to an auditorium, electronics labs, an incubator for startup firms, and visualization and teleconference facilities.