Saturday, November 22, 2008

Penny Pinching: Slaying the Energy Vampires

One way we have been pinching our pennies a little tighter is by reducing some of the "vampire energy." We have 4 power strips in different parts of the house that we use for electronics that use energy even when they are turned off.

We have one power strip for the computer. The monitor and printer are also plugged into it. If we aren't going to be using the computer for an hour or more, we turn the whole thing off and then flip the power strip to off. If I'm planning to come back to the computer in a short period of time, I'll put it in standby mode.

We have a stereo upstairs and one downstairs. We don't actually use either one very often, so they get power strips too and stay off the majority of the time.

And we also have a power strip for the TV, cable box, and modem. That one we have off unless we are watching TV, are on the Internet, or will be back to use one of those things in a short period of time. So, it goes off at night when we head to bed and stays off all day while we are at work. Because all three of those things have lights/clocks on them that stay on when they are "off," I know for sure they are energy vampires.

I'm not 100% sure how much we are saving on an annual basis with this tip, but based on Good Magazine's chart, it looks like it may be in the ballpark of $100. That's not huge, but I'll take it. Otherwise, it's like tossing a Benjamin right out the window. And who would do that? The only effort it takes is to remember to turn the power strips on and off.

Oh yes, there is the cost of the getting power strips if you don't already have them. Well, the good news is that you can get basic ones for free after rebate at various stores. I think I may have only paid full price for one of our power strips years ago. I got one of the others at Staples free after rebate one year on Black Friday. I've seen them advertised for the same deal periodically throughout the rest of the year too. I got the other two power strips free after rebate at Rite Aid.

Good news if you need a power strip now: the week of Sunday, November 23, Rite Aid has them free after rebate! (Don't forget to shop early if you want one because they sell out of their rebate deals quickly.)

Finally, this is not only a way to save money, but it's saving energy which is environmentally friendly too!

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