Household electronics account for about 4% - 5% of a home's energy costs. Many appliances consume 25% of their power when they are not even turned on: Televisions, Computers, DVD players, Cell phone chargers, and Stereos. 5% of the power often goes just to the display clock feature.
So, save money with a few 'smart' power strips for the electronics where it is convenient. They automatically sense the sleep mode, shut off phantom loss and also shut off any 'associated' electronics that you plug into the same strip. Look for the smart strips that have four or more outlets and over 2,000 joules of surge protection to also keep your equipment safe from even the harshest power spikes.
As a home implementation example, you can control the outlet to your TV and as soon as you turn it off, your AV system, speakers and gaming consoles(all plugged as Automatically Switched Outlets) will also turn off. This reduces the 'phantom' or invisible energy consumption. The smart strips also let you override the piggy-back shut down by including one or more 'Constant Hot' outlets. This is a great feature for DVRs and Routers. For a home computer set up this is ideal, because when you shut down the computer the printer will automatically shut down, but you could leave the 'fax' hot as needed.
Before the smart strip you would have to click to shut them down manually at night or when you left on vacations. The old power strips typically would cost $10 each, and the new smart ones run about $30, but the auto shutoff features are well worth the extra cost. So, the added cost is about $20 over the old models. The ROI Calculation is based on buying 1 new smart power strip and saving about $2 a month over the course of the year.
Good to Know:
Master Energy Management System - Imagine with a flick of a single switch on the way out of the house, you could shut down all of the non-essential power sources from drawing the 'phantom' power and raising your electricity bills. Master switch systems are increasingly affordable and popular, and the payback can come in much less than five years depending on your current lifestyle and setup. Major savings come in larger because the set-up cost is not significantly higher. The 'Added Cost' is mostly in the electrical labor.
Note: The inverse of shutting down the lights can also work well as an emergency measure by having a master switch in a master bedroom that powers up all of the lights in case of an intruder.
You can hide the power strip behind appliances like at the edge of a TV and now with 'smart' strips, you do not need to reach around the side to flip the switch in the evening or when you go on vacation.
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