Free Power Strips Offered to Kill ‘Phantom Power’

Advanced Power Strips

For a limited time, you can get a free sensor-equipped power strip that can make sure your gadgets are actually off when they’re turned “off.”

hitimersKanu Hawaii is perhaps the state’s largest non-profit organization focused on sustainability (there’s that word again), and conserving electricity is a big part of that. One solution? Power outlet timers. Kanu Hawaii gave them out for free in its #hitimers project last year. Another solution? Home energy monitors, which they were testing back in 2011. Switching to CFL or LED lightbulbs? They’ve worked on that, too.

Now they’re going after tiny drops of electricity that can add up to an ocean of waste.

Just because your TV is dark doesn’t mean it’s not using power. As electronics fill our homes, from entertainment centers stacked with electronic components to nightstands strewn with device chargers, some energy is always being drawn. It’s called “phantom power,” and while it means tiny sips rather than the stream of energy that electronics slurp up when they’re on, those tiny sips add up.

For example, when your phone is fully charged, it still uses 2.24 watts if it’s still plugged in. And even when there’s no phone attached, the lonely charger still uses 0.26 watts.

When everything in your living room is “off” at night, and the room is dark, how many lights do you see? The front panel on your DVR, the clock on your DVD player, the power switch on your game system… that’s a lot of phantom power haunting your electric bill.

And like the “Ghostbusters,” Kanu Hawaii is out to slay these undead energy suckers.

Their latest campaign to help Hawaii residents conserve electricity is called “Pay It Forward,” funded by Hawaii Energy. And like last year’s #hitimers program, you have to bring a friend with you into the fold in order to participate.

For “Pay It Forward,” Kanu Hawaii has 1,200 Advanced Power Strips (APS) to give away to residents on Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Hawaii Island. (Kauai residents should look into the energy efficiency programs offered by their independent utility.) The APS is a 7-outlet, 1080-Joule model from TrickleStar.

The key feature is a set of sensors that can tell when your electronics are “off,” and cuts off the power entirely. The APS also has a built-in surge protector, and even child-proof switches. This model normally retails for $30, and would have paid for itself in one year, if you didn’t get it for free.

Even better, if you send in a photo of the APS installed, you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift card. And after the program has run for a few months, you’ll be asked to fill out a survey to provide Kanu Hawaii and Hawaii Energy with feedback on how well it worked.

The program just launched, but Kanu Hawaii expects to run out of the power strips quickly. So apply now, get a free APS for yourself and a friend, and save energy, save money, and help save the planet.

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