Smart Power Strips
Have you heard of vampire power? All of those devises that plug into the wall, like your TV, DVD player, and video game systems actually keep using energy even when they are in the off position, because they don't actually turn off. Instead, they go into "standby mode," which constantly uses energy, even in the "off" position. TV vampires suck blood. Energy vampires suck power.
Before smart power strips caught on, the only way to stake these vampires was to unplug appliances when you weren't using them. Not so convenient!
Smart power strips work by using a control device to cut all power to these energy vampires. You're probably already using a power strip for your home entertainment center. All you need to do is replace that strip with a smart power strip, and you're ready to save! When you turn off your "control" device, your smart strip cuts power flow to all of the other devices on the strip, so they're fully turned off rather than still using electricity in standby mode.
The key to saving energy with a smart strip is choosing the right control. We have our entertainment set up with the receiver as the control. Since our TV, DVD, and game systems are all routed through the receiver, we wouldn't be using any of them without turning that on first. When the receiver is off, none of those devices can steal power from the wall. Most smart power strips also have a few outlets that are always hot, in case you have devices that you want on that strip but don't want to power off when you turn off the control, like the DVR.