Did you know that certain devices in your home are running even when they are turned off? This unused, but still active, form of electricity is called “vampire electricity,” simply because it sucks a lot of juice (and increases your monthly bill) without your knowledge. For years now, various companies have been trying to sell consumers on the idea of saving money by purchasing various gadgets designed to cut vampire energy from the start. The latest addition to this growing group of eco-friendly devices is the Belkin Conserve Power Switch.
The idea behind this switch it to connect it to your power source, and then connect any device you want to use to the Conserve Power Switch. When that device is turned one, power will be drawn from the outlet – but, power will not be used if the device is not turned on. For example, your computer consumers a certain amount of power when it is turned off, but if you were to use the Belkin switch, that amount of power would be eliminated and you’d only pay for electricity when you actually turn your computer on. This gadget first caught my attention while I was browsing the CNet website. As the CNet reporter pointed out, even though the Belkin switch claims to help people save money, this might not necessarily be true at all.
According to CNet
According to the CNet article in question, devices that draw electricity when turned off do not actually use that much electricity to begin with. Sure, your microwave may consume three watts of electricity when it’s off, but that really isn’t a very large amount. You’d have to wait for a year or so before you say any real savings when it comes to your electricity bill. However, that small amount (when added to the many devices in your home that do use low wattage when turned off) would, technically, benefit the earth as a whole (just sayin’).
Of course, there are other ways to prevent electricity from flying out the door when you aren’t using a device. You can always just flip a light switch that’s connected to a device or use a power strip, which would cut the electricity until it is turned on. Or, you could just buy a Belkin switch for around $7, though you’d have to buy a bunch of these in order to connect them to outlets throughout your home. So, you see, you really do have a number of options when it comes to saving electricity that you didn’t even know you were using!
Saving On Electricity
It’s really easy to leave a laptop or other device running throughout the evening hours and at all hours of the day. After all, having instant access to the Internet whenever you can’t sleep or want to check something out is tempting, but these habits will also cost you when it comes to your electricity bill. You can also look for devices that are deemed Energy Star efficient, but this doesn’t often work when it comes to laptops and gaming consoles. Of course, the other option is to just unplug devices when you aren’t using them, but this can be time consuming.
So, do you need the new Belkin plug? That depends on how you look at it. If you want to do your eco-part, go for it. If you want to save a ton of money each year on electricity, this isn’t the path to take.