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Cutting Costs: Power Strips 2.0
 

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If you're using those el cheapo $15 surge protectors under all the desks in your office, this is one not-so-dear capitol expense you may want to invest in; energy-saving power strips. Keep in mind that so-called "phantom power" (the electricity that is juicing your machines while sitting idle) is likely adding an extra 10% - 15% on your monthly bill.

There are plenty of options out there. But here are what I call "power strips 2.0". Any or all of the three of these will certainly bring you a ROI you can't say "no" to.

1. The Belkin Conserve. The "Conserve" lives up to its name. There are few different models, including the 10 outlet model. The key energy saving benefits include eight outlets that can be shut down, while two others can stay up and running for equipment that must be on at all times. Put out the energy hogs like monitors and printers in the back eight .It even comes with a remote control. No more bending over and crawling under desks to flip a switch (which never happens). With the remote you have a fighting chance employees will actually take the time to hit the surge protector switch on the way out the door. Keep in mind, something like 80% of office computers have their power saving features disabled. Give your employees a nudge to do better... and a remote. Prices range from $45 to $70.

2. The Kill A Watt PS. Plug in any electric device and this surge protector offers a readout to let you know just how many killowatt hours its burning on average. It also detects current leakage, over current and over voltage with a digital readout right on the surge protector. Go around the office and take inventory of which devices are the big juice hogs and slaughter them accordingly. You can find them for sale online for just a little under a hundred bucks.

3. The Smart Strip. There's a whole line of these power strips depending on what area of the office (or home) you need it. It's an insanely simple idea. The outlets are color-coded. One color is for devices that are safe to shut down automatically when they aren't in use. Another set of color-coded outlets works best, for example, with peripherials that need to have energy use minimized when they are sitting on, but idle. The third color-coded sockets are for devices that need to be juiced constantly (like the refrigerator, for example). Cost: $30-ish, depending on the model.

Last updated: Apr 23, 2009




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