Buyers Guide: Smart Devices to help you Save

Replace your traditional power strip with an advanced power strip. Advanced power strips shut off power when the device is turned off.. 75% of the electricity is consumed while electronics are turned off but still plugged in, costing you around $200 annually..

First, see which one is right for you.opens in a new window
This guide from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) can help you decide which type of smart power strip or outlet is best fit for your needs or habits.

Then read our buyers guide to help you determine which energy-saving tool you should choose.

Smart Energy-Saving Tools you can find at the Home Depot:

8-Outlet Digital Timeropens in a new window

8 outlet HDHere, 4 outlets are controlled by a timer, and 4 are ‘always on’. Great for controlling charging times of electronics, while keeping an alarm clock, internet/wifi plugs constantly plugged in.

Pros: Can program up to 7 charging times per week
Cons: The outlets placed close together may make it difficult to plug in some fixtures next to each other


Basic Outdoor 1-Outlet Timer
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outdoor home depot
Great for seasonal and outdoor lights due to its ability to turn devices on at dusk and off at dawn, but can also be manually set to turn off after 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours.

Pros: Weather resistant, Great online reviews
Cons: Only provides one outlet

 

 

24-Hour Plug-In Basic Timer
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outlet timer basic
Great for lamps, indoor seasonal lights, electronics, etc.

Pros: Programmable in 30 minute intervals, Inexpensive
Cons: Only for two-pronged appliances

Or pay an extra $9 for a 3-pronged basic outlet timeropens in a new window (both have great reviews)

[photo credits from homedepot.com]

 

Smart Energy-Saving Tools you can find at Walmart:

7-Outlet Smart Power Strip with Surge Protectionopens in a new window

smart strip walmartBest for TV setup or home office spaces. It has 1 control (master) outlet, 2 always on outlets for devices that need continuous power (like your router or cordless phone) and 4 automatic energy saving outlets (for electronics such as phones, tablets that tend to be left plugged in and continue to use energy after they are fully charged).

Pros: Additional $3 for 2-year warranty, Protects devices from voltage spikes, Great reviews

Cons: Only available for delivery, no free in-store pickup

Smart strip that syncs with your iPhoneopens in a new window

iphone smart strip

 

Great if you tend to be forgetful with unplugging devices 

Pros: Bends to fit every sized plug or adapter without wasting a single outlet, Can control two outlets through app on iPhone (4 outlets total)
Cons: Not compatible with Andriod

 

[photo credits from walmart.com]

 

Smart Energy-Saving Tools you can find at Best Buy:

7-Outlet Surge Protectoropens in a new window
best buy smart stripBest for TV setup or home office spaces. Has 2 always on outlets for devices that need continuous power (like your router or cordless phone) and 5 automatic energy saving outlets for electronics that tend to be left plugged in and continue to use energy after they are fully charged (such as phones, tablets, etc).

Pros: LED indicators of energy saving/surge protection, Great reviews
Cons: Have to manually click on/off switch for simple power conservation/energy savings, In-store pickup not available
[photo credit from bestbuy.com]

 

 

 

 

Smart Energy-Saving Tools you can find on Amazon:

10-Outlet Smart Power Strip with Surge Protectionopens in a new window
amazon power stripBest for TV setup or home office spaces. Has 1 control (master) outlet, 3 always on outlets for devices that need continuous power (like your router or cordless phone) and 6 automatic energy saving outlets for electronics that tend to be left plugged in and continue to use energy after they are fully charged.

Pros: Free shipping, Backed by 2-year warranty, Great reviews
Cons: Somewhat pricier


Single Energy-Saving Outlet Timeropens in a new window

belkin outlet timerGreat for charging individual items such as electric toothbrushes, fans, kitchen appliance, cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. in 30 minute, 3 hr, or 6 hr time intervals

Pros: Outlet timer will allow you to only charge that device for a set amount of time before completely cutting off the power supply, Inexpensive
Cons: Only provides one outlet

6-Outlet Energy-Saving Surge Protector with Remoteopens in a new window
BELKIN OUTLETBest for TV setup or home office spaces. Has 1 control (master) outlet, 3 always on outlets for devices that need continuous power (like your router or cordless phone) and 6 automatic energy saving outlets for electronics that tend to be left plugged in and continue to use energy after they are fully charged.

Pros: Has remote usage to control power to system with single click, Outlets are far enough from each other so that all outlets can be used
Cons: The remote or switch needs to be clicked in order for remaining four outlets to cut off energy use
[photo credits from amazon.com]

 

Guest post written by Jenna Hinsdale. Jenna is a sophomore at the University of Missouri, and an intern with the City of Columbia’s Office of Sustainability.