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Install & Use Power Strips

About this Project

Slay your Energy Vampires!

TVs, computers, stereos, surround sound systems, chargers, DVD players — if the light is glowing, it’s using power, even if it’s turned off. This “phantom” standby power helps them to turn on quickly, but also quickly adds up to a lot of unnecessary energy usage, as much as 5–10% of your energy usage.

A simple power strip with an on/off button lets you turn the power all the way off. You can find a good one for less than $20 — $5 or $6 if you shop around. Use them regularly, and they’ll pay for themselves in a year or less.

To make things even simpler, go for a “smart” strip. When you power off the main device — computer or TV, for example — the peripherals plugged in the same strip are also automatically powered down with it, whether printers, speakers, whatever. You don’t even have to think about it.


Photo Credit: Corepics VOF, Shutterstock


What You’ll Need:

  • Drill / Driver, Level, Screwdriver
  • Programmable Thermostat, Drywall Anchors (may be included with thermostat), Batteries

Instructions and Videos:

Common FAQs
Can I use a programmable thermostat with a heat pump, electric, or radiant (steam or radiant floor) heat?
Programmable thermostats can be used with heat pumps, but are not recommended for radiant or hot water systems. Most heat pump systems are installed with a specific thermostat by your contractor. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it is best to check with them on the proper model and set-up. A conventional programmable thermostat may not account for the back-up heat of a heat pump, or the different steps and modes of the system.


Power strips make it super convenient to turn off all your electronics, so you don’t have to bend down multiple times.  There are even some you can turn off my remote control!!

Have you scheduled a Quick Home Energy Checkup (QHECs) yet?  If you pay your own utility bill in Maryland, QHECs are offered at no-additional cost to you by your utility company.

A contractor comes to your home and provides tips, and energy and water saving measures that can equal up to $100 in savings.  They include a smart power strip!  Contact your utility today to schedule your QHEC!

Photo Credit: ecobeco

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