Does A Power Strip Save Electricity? (Vampire Energy)

does a power strip save energy

Power strip does save electricity in the following ways.

1). Power Strips Don’t Use Electricity Independently

You could argue that power strips don’t affect energy consumption. They won’t raise or lower it. After all, a power strip can only transmit the power a connected appliance needs.

A power strip won’t use your circuit’s electricity if you plug it into a wall outlet without attaching appliances to its slots.

Therefore, it can’t increase or decrease your utility bill. This is also true for power strips with surge protection.

2). Vampire Energy Is The Only Way Power Strips Can Increase And Save Electricity.

‘Vampire Energy’ is the power a device consumes when you switch it off. Some people call it ‘Idle Electricity’ because the appliance is technically idle while it uses this power.

Any item you can activate with a remote consumes vampire energy. Think about it. If your flatscreen TV were truly off, it wouldn’t respond to a remote. The fact that it came on when you pressed the power button proves it was in standby mode.

A device in standby mode is still on. However, it uses less electricity in this inactive state. The Natural Resources Defense Council found in a 2015 study that 23 percent of a household’s power consumption originates from vampire energy.

A report in The Guardian noted that British people could save £110 per year by flipping a switch. Flipping a switch or pulling the plug out of the outlet kills the power entirely, preventing electrical appliances from using vampire energy.

But most people don’t have the patience for this practice. They may unplug one or two devices in a home, but not all of them. This is where the power strip shines.

It lets you depower multiple devices by pulling the power strip’s plug out of the outlet. expects consumers to save an estimated $100 annually by eliminating standby power.

How Does A Power Strip Save Energy?

You can save energy by unplugging a power strip from the wall outlet. This depowers all the connected appliances and prevents them from using vampire energy. But anyone that can’t be bothered to unplug a TV or gaming console is unlikely to unplug a power strip.

That raises a question. Can a power strip legitimately lower your energy consumption? Yes, it can if you buy a smart power strip. It performs three tasks:

1). A Smart Power Strip Keeps You Informed

A PLOS One paper from Kathryn Buchanan and Riccardo Russo found that giving users information about their energy usage was unlikely to affect their behavior. In other words, showing laypeople the excess energy they waste annually won’t compel them to reduce the waste.

That being said, some consumers appreciate this information. They approve of the recommendations manufacturers provide with regard to improving energy efficiency and reducing waste.

Some smart power strips will track your energy consumption. They will also show you how to lower it. By following this advice, you can drastically reduce your electric bill.

2). A Smart Power Strip Disconnects Inactive Devices

According to Energy Saver (U.S. Department Of Energy), a smart power strip can tell that a device has entered standby mode. It responds by cutting the power to the outlet running that device.

But how does it know? An appliance’s power consumption drops when it switches to standby mode. This change compels the power strip to cut the outlet’s power.

3). A Smart Power Strip Provides Remote Access

Some manufacturers include apps allowing consumers to remotely control the devices connected to the power strip. In other words, if you forget to disconnect the TV before leaving for work in the morning, you can prevent the device from consuming vampire energy by cutting its outlet on the power strip using your phone.

You might be surprised by the amount of energy you will save in the process. According to Williams College, a laptop uses 4.42 watts when it isn’t in use. That number jumps to 29 watts when you maintain the charger’s connection to a fully charged laptop. A smart power strip gives you the control you need to prevent such waste.

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Energy-Efficient Power Strip

  • Smart power strips are not all the same.

They have unique attributes. For instance, Dominion Energy has highlighted the advanced power strip. It has a control outlet and switched outlets. The power strip energizes the switched outlets when you connect a device to the control outlet and activate it.

The power strip responds to the high current in the control outlet. When you turn the device in the control outlet off, the power strip detects the reduction in power and disconnects the switched outlets.

This concept makes sense if you plug a TV into the control outlet and peripheral devices such as gaming consoles and Blueray players in the switched outlets. Because the peripheral devices are useless without the TV, you want them to turn off when you disconnect the TV.

But if all the devices on the power strip operate independently, an advanced power strip will annoy you because you want the switched outlets to stay on even though the appliance in the control outlet is off.

Find a smart power strip whose functions fit your needs.

  • Find a power strip with a switch that turns the power on and off.

This allows you to kill the energy flowing to the attached items by flipping the switch to the off position. You don’t have to unplug the power strip to achieve this objective.

  • Look for power strips with additional features that add to your convenience.

For instance, some power strips have timers. You can program them to turn certain devices on and off at specific times.

Others detect movement. They will turn a device on when someone enters a room and off when that person leaves. You can even program them to stay on for a few minutes when you leave. This prevents the power strip from deactivating your appliances whenever you temporarily exit the room.

Power strips with a current sensor can tell when a device enters standby mode. They will respond accordingly.

  • The device you want to run will determine the type of power strip you will buy.

For instance, a power strip with a motion detector won’t benefit your computer because it may shut the device off when you go to the bathroom, erasing your work.

  • Certification

The smart power strip should meet the relevant safety standards in your country. Look for products tested by an organization the OSHA recognizes, such as underwriters laboratories.

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