Without fail, there’s that once-a-month moment when I glance over my ConEd electricity bill and think: “okay, what can I do to make this suck less? Like, even a little?” Naturally, I focus on obvious energy-drainers in my apartment (I’m taking ‘bout you, AC window units) that cause my electric bills to spike during the summer months. As a well-trained turner-offer but not much of an unplugger, I sometimes neglect to focus on "slaying" smaller household energy-drainers, particularly sources of vampire power — also known as standby power or when an appliance is turned off but still sucking a small amount of juice since it’s plugged in.

Thanks to a new line of "smart" surge protectors by Accell, managing vampire power around my apartment will be a bit easier and my monthly electric bills? Hopefully, over time, they'll become a little less sucky.


Recently, Accell sent along a GreenGenius Smart Surge Protector for me to test. The company offers three models of the GreenGenius (not to be confused with the similarly named line of eco-friendly trash bags): A general purpose 6-outlet surge protector ($34.99), a 10-outlet surge protector geared towards home office set-ups ($49.99), and a 10-outlet surge protector meant for home theatre systems ($54.99).

All models of the GreenGenius automatically cut off power to idle electronic devices — no plugging/unplugging required. Given that by Department of Energy estimates, standby power claims a whopping 15 percent of energy consumed in an average household, a device like the GreenGenius can certainly pay for itself within a short period of time.

I tried out the 6-outlet model, which suited me just fine since I’m not exactly a big gearhead. It was easy to set up and install among the mess of cords claimed by my television, cable box, wireless router, modem, DVD player, Harman Kardon speakers, and a lamp or two. The hardest part? Figuring out which cord belonged to which gadget and arranging them accordingly. 

The 6-outlet GreenGenius Smart Surge Protector (see image on left) features one Master Outlet (computer or TV), two energy-saving Switch Outlets (speakers, DVD players, gaming systems, etc.) and three Always-On Outlets (modems, phones, clocks, etc.) Added bonus: it features noise-reduction circuitry that's ideal for AV junkies and a phone line splitter.

Do you want your monthly electric bills to suck a bit less? Looking for an easy, safe way to combat vampire power? Then head on over to the Accell website to learn more about the power- and money-saving features of GreenGenius and to find out where you can buy one

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.