An Outlet for Energy Savings - Carolina Country

An Outlet for Energy Savings

Energy-saving wall outlets are effective and easy to install

By Kaley Lockwood, NRECA

An Outlet for Energy Savings

Think Eco

Does the ebb and flow of your energy bill have you searching for an affordable way to reduce or better control your use? Take control of appliances at the source with energy-saving outlets — practical and easy-to-install devices that allow you to better manage your home’s energy use.

Several devices found inside your home are commonly referred to as “parasitic loads,” “phantom loads” or “energy vampires.” Energy-saving outlets can potentially curb these loads, which can cost the average household an extra $200 per year.

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There are several different kinds of energy-saving outlets available, but there are two factors you should consider. First is size. There are many different sizes ranging from a single external outlet to a power strip with multiple sockets. The second is Wi-Fi connectivity. For those without Wi-Fi in the home, energy-saving outlets are available with built-in timer switches. Internet-connected outlets, commonly known as smart plugs, provide greater control of the outlet through a smartphone, tablet or home assistant (like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa).

With these connected smart plugs or smart power strips, a few clicks and swipes on your smart phone will enable you to fully shut down the electrical currents to your high-powered devices to prevent them from consuming electricity even when switched off.

Advanced smart plugs and smart plug apps also have the ability to automate the use with your schedule and even your presence in the home. You can also have large-load devices turn off at a set time each night and turn on every morning when you’re ready to use them.

For folks who are looking to optimize their energy use and eliminate vampire loads, smart plugs may be your best option. For others who want more of a hands-off option to save additional dollars, energy-saving outlets and power strips without the Wi-Fi connection may be a better choice.

These advanced outlets typically cost around $10 to $20 each, depending on Wi-Fi functionality, and have the potential to pay for themselves within two years or less.

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