According to The New York Times, vampire energy can cost a single family home upwards of $2,200 a year in energy bills when larger machines—the MP3 player, the DVD player, the TV— stay plugged in, even when they're turned off. Check out this list of ten products to help you track and manage your energy consumption:
• Belkin Conserve AV (available now) and the Conserve Insight (available in September) both retail for about $30. The Conserve AV strip knows when your TV is on or off and will cut off power, when appropriate, to the peripherals plugged into the other sockets. The Conserve Insight will measure the energy draw of plug-in appliances, allowing you to identify the worst offenders and estimate their cost, in dollars, kilowatts or pounds of carbon dioxide.
• Apple AA-battery charger ($30) senses when its batteries are done charging and automatically reduces the amount of power it needs.
• Lutron’s Eco-Home dimmers have a variety of energy functions, including a dimmer with LED lights that change from red to green when your lights are dimmed 15 percent or more (Maestro Eco-Minder dimmer, $46), a timer that automatically shuts off power after a certain length of time, making it good for bathroom fans and vestibule lights (Maestro Eco-Timer, $48), and another dimmer that shutting off the lights when no one is home or when it detects that a room is unoccupied (Maestro Dimmer with Vacancy Sensor, $54).
• A programmable thermostat can do more than almost any other device to cut your energy usage. Check out this post on how to install one.
• The online tool Earth Aid synchronizes itself with your utilities’ accounts and shows your electricity, gas and water use in colorful graphs, compares your usage with your neighbor's, and connects with more than 200 power, gas and water companies. It also rewards you for good behavior. Cut 75 kilowatt hours and earn enough points for a dog wash, for example.
• Free services Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm both offer number-crunching graphs and efficiency recommendations.
Read more about each of these services and devices at The New York Times.
Image: The New York Times