by Dan Kaneko | Nov. 9, 2022
Saving energy can be really challenging. Simple actions like turning off lights and refraining from opening the refrigerator door are easy enough, but other sacrifices — like opting to use fans instead of air conditioning on a hot afternoon — doesn’t always feel like it’s worth the trade-off, at least not in the immediate moment. Incentives like our Time-of-Use (TOU) program offer great savings, but shifting my energy use to daylight hours isn’t always feasible on days when I’m working in the office instead of my home.
Because saving energy isn’t always easy, I welcome simple, effective methods and that’s why I decided to try advanced power strips. This device can sense when your electronics are not in use and will shut off the power source to prevent energy drain, which is often referred to as “standby power” or “phantom energy.”
After hearing so much about advanced power strips, I decided to check out Hawaii Energy’s marketplace to browse their selection. If you’re not familiar with their marketplace, it offers a great selection of energy-efficient products at affordable prices. You can shop a variety of LED lighting, water-savers, and small electronics.
I opted for the Tricklestar 7-outlet Tier 1 Advanced PowerStrip because it was the cheapest option. However, I found the spacing between outlets to be rather narrow, so I recommend splurging on an 8-outlet option if your appliances have wider plugs or you just need more outlets. The marketplace offers two different 8-outlet options. In addition to the advanced power strip, I also stocked up on some LED holiday lights because the Christmas season is fast approaching, and Hawaii Energy offers $10 flat rate shipping on every order.
My advanced power strip is set up in my bedroom where I charge most of my electronics. It comes equipped with a “control” outlet, two “always on” outlets and four “switched” outlets. On the side of the power strip, there is an option to set the “threshold” at low, medium, or high.
Threshold determines the level of power that needs to be detected by the control outlet before power is supplied to the switched outlets. When power drawn from the control outlet drops below this threshold, the switched outlets are turned off to save energy. I’d imagine this mechanism works effectively for home entertainment systems using the TV as the control device and plugging in other appliances, like gaming consoles or DVD players, to the switched outlets.
Advanced power strips are an easy way to prevent phantom energy loss for those of us who habitually leave our devices plugged in. They save energy with minimal effort or mindfulness, and who can’t appreciate that simple method? So, swap out your regular power strip or surge protector for an advanced power strip, plug in your appliances and start saving energy automatically.
To purchase an advanced power strip, or for rebate offers and energy-saving tips, visit hawaiienergy.com.
Dan Kaneko is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.