Vampire or standby power is the electricity wasted by devices that draw power even when you’re not using them, like game consoles and phone chargers. Natural Resources Canada pegs the average per-household vampire load at between 5.09 and 5.80 terawatt-hours per year, and it calls that a conservative estimate. Belkin
recently released a set of products aimed at taming vampires. The Conserve Insight ($30)
sits between a plug and TVs or game consoles. It measures electricity use in watts and calculates the cost of operation and the amount of carbon dioxide produced. For your home theatre, pick up the clever Conserve Smart AV ($40)
: the surge-protected power bar detects when your TV is switched off and automatically powers down the plugs connected to components like game consoles, Blu-ray players and stereo receivers. A couple of always-on plugs handle equipment that needs to stay powered, like a DVR. A third Belkin gadget, the Conserve Valet ($40)
, is a multi-device charger that shuts down when the BlackBerrys, iPhones and Game Boys are charged. This is important because standard chargers draw power even when no device is connected to them.
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