If you shut off every appliance in your house, including televisions, DVD players, game systems, and computer, then looked at your electricity meter outside, you would still see the dials spinning. All electronics and appliances in your home consume electricity while they are plugged in, whether they are on or not. This also includes plugs that are not attached to the device, such as phone or tablet chargers. One way to stop this vampire energy drain is to unplug your devices. However, that can be really tedious, especially for entertainment centers. For entertainment centers, you could plug everything into a power strip, but a smart power strip may be a better answer.
A smart power strip knows to shut off the flow of electricity to devices that go into a standby state. They can detect the reduced flow of electricity and then cut it off entirely. A typical home expends 5-10% of their total energy on standby devices. That also equals about 1% of worldwide carbon emissions. Most of the smart strips available also have outlets that are not affected by the low power states. These outlets will remain active, pumping electricity to whatever device is plugged into them, even if they go into a low power state. This is the best outlet to use for medical equipment, phones, or alarm systems.
Smart strips like the LGC3 from Bits Limited have grouped outlets, so by turning on one device, you will turn on other devices with it. This is ideal for entertainment centers. First, you would plug the television into the blue coded outlet. Once the television is on, everything plugged into a green outlet will power up to their standby state. These devices could be DVD/BluRay players, game systems, or streaming devices like Chromecast or Roku. There are three red outlets available too, and these supply constant power, whether the television is on or not. These outlets are good for DVRs, so you won’t miss out on recording shows.
Other smart strips take a more simple approach. Belkin’s Conserve Power Strip features two always on outlets that supply constant power and six to eight controlled outlets that can be activated using the included on/off remote. This power strip is great for powering multiple devices in a tight area by turning them all on at once with the push of a button. With the two constant power outlets, you
can also use this power strip to keep phones or DVRs powered while everything else is powered down.
Overall, a smart power strip will reduce energy waste and save you money each month on your electricity bills. By preventing electronics from leeching power, you will also cut back on harmful emissions being poured into the atmosphere from generating electricity.