Thanks to lots of handy new gadgets that are now on the market, killing an energy vampire is much, much easier. The “energy vampires” in your home are those always-on appliances and other electrical devices that use a shocking amount of energy, even when you’ve turned them off. How to reduce their electrical consumption? Here are our favorite tools:
What it is: If knowledge is power, then eGauge is the most powerful electricity-saving tool out there, because it provides so much valuable insight into how energy might be getting wasted in your home. By measuring whole-home energy usage and solar generation, it’s a handy device to help you examine your energy costs, optimize energy production and save some serious bank. Using this tool can help you monitor critical loads, identify phantom loads and even start to create an energy budget for your household.
How it works: The egauge offers you a real-time look at both how energy is being used in your house and, if applicable, how it’s being generated by solar panels. Every 30 seconds, it measures both factors and offers you a constantly updated reported.
- Advanced power strip (APS)
What it is: A power strip with one master socket, one or more "always-on" sockets, and one or more controlled sockets.
How it works: There are two varieties available. In a tier 1 strip, when a device that’s already plugged into the master socket is turned off (for example, when the television is turned off), the power strip will note the drop in consumption, and then it will stop power that’s going to the controlled socket. This means those vampires won’t be able to drain energy when not in use. Tier 2 strips use sensors that detect infrared signals and activity in the room. As soon as devices aren’t being used, they’re turned off.
- Smart Plugs
What it is: These are devices that put you in control of your energy use, even when you aren’t around, thanks to handy communication between electricity-using appliances and your smart phone. They’re an easy way to get a “smart home” without an investment in expensive equipment.
How it works: These plugs transform your current appliances into smart devices. Just plug them in and then create a schedule for your devices or remotely turn them on and off whenever you want to. Here’s a roundup from Safewise with some of their recommendations.
Consider solar power
If you’re considering adding solar power to your home, banishing energy vampires in advance can help you “right size” the system you install. If you’d like to know more, contact your local solar installer for a free quote and to learn more about which type of solar installation is right for you.