August 20, 2009
| by Steven Castle
Here’s what I’ve been waiting for: a surge suppressor I can use to charge my iPhone and other mobile devices and which will only charge them during the times I specify. That means I can leave the charger cords plugged in without wasting energy.
Some of the biggest power “vampires” are the chargers we use to power up our cell phones and other mobile devices, especially when we leave them plugged in. You can waste energy even after a full charge if the device stays connected; and if you leave the charger plugged in all the time, you’re wasting even more.
Attacking our charging problem is APC’s Power-Saving Surge Protectors with LCD Timers. The outlets can be set to turn on or off at any preferred time, with as many as five scheduled settings.
The P4GC model offers four timer-controlled outlets in a convenient wall-tap unit. The P6GC model has five timer-controlled outlets and one always-on outlet. Both units offer two block spaced outlets for odd or large-shaped plugs, as well as status lights indicating ‘building wiring fault,’ ‘timer enabled’ and ‘protection working.’
Best of all, for an investment of just $17 (P4GC) to $20 (P6GC), APC estimates that the units can save you $20 to $60 a year in energy costs.
But alas, I still have to wait for these. They won’t be available until September or later.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates