Many of the electronics in our homes and offices still use power when turned off. If left plugged in, TVs, computers, printers, and other common electronics enter standby mode, drawing small amounts of energy, or “standby power.” Nicknamed vampire power and phantom power, standby power accounts for 10% of residential electricity usage. The Energy Information Administration estimates standby power costs Americans more than $3 billion annually. Clearly, vampire power is an evil force, but with the right weapons, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
At EnerChange, we’re big fans of the Smart Strip, which makes it easy to avoid wasting energy on standby power. Manufactured and distributed by Bits Limited, the Smart Strip is a color-coded power strip that can automatically manage each outlet according to a control outlet. For example, say you plug a TV into the blue control outlet and aDVD player, video game console, A/V receiver, and speakers into the green outlets. The Smart Strip can control the other outlets based on the electrical activity of the TV. It senses the electrical current in one outlet, and switches on or off all the rest. Plus, there are additional red outlets not connected to the blue control outlet for items you’d like to leave on, like a DVR, TiVo, or wireless router. So, turn your TV on and your TV accessories power up. Turn the TV off, and everything shuts down with it.
The Smart Strip isn’t just for the home theater. Think of all the other uses: your computer at the office, with a monitor, external harddrive, and speakers, or the business center, with a printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine. Got a complex lighting scheme in the living room? No problem–turn on one floor lamp and the rest will light up, too.
There are other smart power strips on the market, such as the Isolé IDP-3050, which utilizes a motion sensor to power on when movement is detected, or the Belkin Conserve, which has a remote control. Whichever solution you choose, smart power strips can help save energy at the office and at home and cut down on energy bills.
Image Credit: Bits Limited