February 1, 2008 —
Energy Star estimates that about 40 percent of all electrical usage comes from devices that continue to consume power even when they're turned off. Thankfully, a product that can eliminate some of this excess energy usage has finally come to the American market. Priced at around $29 per unit, the EcoStrip plugs into your computer's USB port and automatically switches off power flow to all devices when the computer is shut down. Even though its price is about double that of most surge protectors, the EcoStrip will easily pay for itself within a year, since many computer configurations waste more than $70 a year when they're out of use.