Occupancy sensors can reduce energy waste by as much as 68% and increasing energy savings by as much as 60%, according to a new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The study, entitled “Demand Reduction and Energy Savings Using Occupancy Sensors,” monitored 158 rooms at 60 buildings for occupancy and lighting status over a 14-day period. Researchers evaluated occupancy patterns, calculated energy savings, and estimated the demand reduction potential using simulated occupancy sensor time delays of 5, 10, 15, and 20 min. The 5-min. time delay showed the best results with a reduction in energy waste of 68% and an increase of energy savings of 60% when used in a bathroom. Numbers for classrooms (63% energy waste reduction and 58% energy savings increase) and conference rooms (57% energy waste reduction and 50% energy savings increase) were similarly promising.

The study is available through the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) at www.nema.org/energy/demandreduction.pdf.