Cool tool to stop vampire power dead in its tracks

Belkin smart surge protectorLast month my colleague Carol Vinznat wrote a great article which helped you figure out just how much your appliances were costing you just because they are plugged in, using several different power monitoring tools. The good news is that even if you haven't used one of these personal power meters you can check out Good Magazine's vampire energy chart to spot potential wastes in your house. The bad news is that now you'll have to take action to cut down on the energy lost to these power suckers, a place many households fail.

Thankfully, eliminating power waste from passive energy is about to get easier due to a new surge protector from Belkin which comes with a wireless power switch to let you control when the outlets are turned off. Carol pointed us to some very helpful surge protectors which turn off your computer peripherals when the main PC is powered down. This new offering from Belkin builds on this idea and looks to be an excellent way for home theater enthusiasts to stop power drain with minimal inconvenience all for just $50 from Belkin's website.

I've thought about just flipping the switch on our surge protector to save money on the passive power that comes with having two game consoles, a receiver, LCD TV, and more hooked into my home theater. But like many of your setups, the power strip is buried better than King Tut! By adding a wireless switch to this surge protector, Belkin provides an easy way for me to cut our power usage while still being in control of when the power is cut.
I was skeptical of how much it actually cost me until I did the math on the Good Magazine chart and found that just my entertainment center alone was costing me close to $100 a year in passive energy usage. My home office easily pulls in another $50 in usage at the least which means I could save close to $13 a month on energy, paying for two Belkin power strips in the first year alone. That $13 in savings appears to be on the low end, especially when you take into account the $40 per month savings this individual had by unplugging most of her household items.

Normally my wife meets my money saving ideas with a healthy dose of skepticism, but she's ready to buy these Belkin strips tonight!

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