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Published on November 6th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

26

Outlet Switch Fights Vampire Energy Usage

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November 6th, 2008 by  

outlet

Are you too lazy to go around unplugging appliances when you’re done with them? Do you still consider yourself environmentally aware? Then maybe it’s time to look into purchasing the Harriet Carter Outlet Switch. The device— not to be confused with a power strip— is a current cutter that allows you to turn off electricity flow while appliances are still plugged in.

If you want to make life even easier, plug a power strip into the switch for the ability to cut electricity flow from multiple devices at once.

Most of the electronics we use every day—TV’s, DVD players, cell phone chargers—leech power even when they’re off, so Harriet Carter’s device could save some serious energy. And while it isn’t the only outlet switch on the market, its $5 price tag may make it the cheapest.

Photo Credit: Harriet Carter

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • http://www.IownU.com NerdyJoe

    I have a Flex Capacitor !!! So whaaa!

  • http://www.IownU.com NerdyJoe

    I have a Flex Capacitor !!! So whaaa!

  • http://www.IownU.com NerdyJoe

    I have a Flex Capacitor !!! So whaaa!

  • Pingback: HiSaver Uses Motion Detection System to Stop Vampire Power : CleanTechnica

  • Olivia

    Tom; great to hear that Australia is making progress. Last time I checked, standby power accounted for 5% of electricity usage in the USA, and 13% in Australia. How come?

  • Olivia

    Tom; great to hear that Australia is making progress. Last time I checked, standby power accounted for 5% of electricity usage in the USA, and 13% in Australia. How come?

  • Olivia

    Tom; great to hear that Australia is making progress. Last time I checked, standby power accounted for 5% of electricity usage in the USA, and 13% in Australia. How come?

  • Pingback: Standby Kill Chip: The End of Vampire Power? : CleanTechnica

  • huricane

    So… what happens if you want to put *two* of those fancy illuminated switches on one wall outlet? Let me guess: the bottom switch is gonna be hard to reach, so people will either pull the switch out to turn off, or ignore it altogether.

    Oh yes, and in New Zealand, we have the same outlet switches as the Aussies. Should be required worldwide, IMHO.

  • huricane

    So… what happens if you want to put *two* of those fancy illuminated switches on one wall outlet? Let me guess: the bottom switch is gonna be hard to reach, so people will either pull the switch out to turn off, or ignore it altogether.

    Oh yes, and in New Zealand, we have the same outlet switches as the Aussies. Should be required worldwide, IMHO.

  • http://Cleantechnica.com Scott

    So if this is supposed to help stop the leeching of power why does it has an illuminated on/off switch?

  • http://Cleantechnica.com Scott

    So if this is supposed to help stop the leeching of power why does it has an illuminated on/off switch?

  • http://Cleantechnica.com Scott

    So if this is supposed to help stop the leeching of power why does it has an illuminated on/off switch?

  • dude

    I’m Australian and I have power boards with the switches, because the wall sockets behind the TV and computer are very inconvenient to reach, also have a power board where each of the 4 sockets on it has switch which gives flexibility, so not completely useless even in Australia.

  • dude

    I’m Australian and I have power boards with the switches, because the wall sockets behind the TV and computer are very inconvenient to reach, also have a power board where each of the 4 sockets on it has switch which gives flexibility, so not completely useless even in Australia.

  • dude

    I’m Australian and I have power boards with the switches, because the wall sockets behind the TV and computer are very inconvenient to reach, also have a power board where each of the 4 sockets on it has switch which gives flexibility, so not completely useless even in Australia.

  • Foo

    Tom isn’t special its just Australia is smart.

    We have a third earth wire too which makes it safer and being 240V there is less ripple problems.

  • Foo

    Tom isn’t special its just Australia is smart.

    We have a third earth wire too which makes it safer and being 240V there is less ripple problems.

  • Mr. Sinister

    @ Tom,

    Well, aren’t you special.

  • Mr. Sinister

    @ Tom,

    Well, aren’t you special.

  • Mr. Sinister

    @ Tom,

    Well, aren’t you special.

  • Tom

    It must suck to be in the USA and not have switches on your wall sockets. We still have them on ours here in Australia which pretty well makes that device above a joke.

  • Tom

    It must suck to be in the USA and not have switches on your wall sockets. We still have them on ours here in Australia which pretty well makes that device above a joke.

  • Just watching

    30 years ago everything had a “ON-OFF’ switch that was a true disconect. Now everything has some memory and or a clock chip that looses its memory or time of day when the power is disconected. It is time to stop buying all this “kids toys”.

  • Just watching

    30 years ago everything had a “ON-OFF’ switch that was a true disconect. Now everything has some memory and or a clock chip that looses its memory or time of day when the power is disconected. It is time to stop buying all this “kids toys”.

  • Just watching

    30 years ago everything had a “ON-OFF’ switch that was a true disconect. Now everything has some memory and or a clock chip that looses its memory or time of day when the power is disconected. It is time to stop buying all this “kids toys”.

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