Next time you’re inside, look around the floor. Near the wall. You might see something like this:
It’s a smart strip, of course! Ever wonder why they’re called SMART? Or why it’s SMART to switch them off when you aren’t using them? Read on.
Did you know that even after you’ve turned off your TV or powered down your computer, they continue to use electricity? This is referred to as vampire or phantom energy use. Pretty much all electronics do this—unless unplugged from a socket—which is why phantom energy accounts for 10 percent or more of your energy bill each month. Unplugging devices is one way to stop wasting energy and cash, but it’s a very tedious process.
Enter the perfect solution: a smart power strip.
Depending on the kind of strip you purchase, it will either power down automatically or you simply press one switch. Either way, you’ve cut power completely to multiple devices at once—reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of your electricity and saving money. Win-win.
The colorful Smart Strip in the photo is, well, smart. It stops drawing power when your gadgets are turned off so no more wasting money on vampire energy. It’s got ten outlets: a great choice for home offices or entertainment centers. Plug it in, start curbing your energy costs.
Buy a smart power strip at an electronics store or online (this will cost around $30). Plug in everything from your laptop to your phone charger and you’re on your way to saving energy. For bigger savings, consider investing in multiple power strips for your home office, media room, and kitchen.
Plug items you want to leave on into the wall. Or purchase a smart strip equipped with a mix of outlets that are always on, as well as power saving ones. This configuration allows you to keep some electronics on (like your cable modem or DVR), while shutting others off (like your TV or DVD player).