Published on February 4th, 2011 | by Gbemiga0
Belkin Conserve: Saving Energy One Outlet At A Time
We’ve seen a lot of eco-friendly gadgets- items to help compost or save water or use less fuel. Often, they require compromises, either adding expense or maintenance. But sometimes, gear can be easy-to-install and inexpensive, and encourage positive change. This is happily the case with the Belkin Conserve line, which have recently been helping us monitor and use less electricity.
Let’s start with the Conserve Insight Monitor. The Monitor lets you monitor how much energy your devices actually use, either over a period of time or at a single glance. The device comes with a large LCD that lets you see how much electricity you are consuming, how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced to generate the electricity your device is consuming (your carbon footprint), as well as the wattage used. The combination of these features means you get to see how much you’re spending and your impact on the environment via three buttons. You can use the lightning bolt button to see how many watts you’re using, the earth symbol button to see the amount of CO2 produced, and the dollar sign button for… well, you know. You can also switch between looking at daily and yearly periods. The Monitor comes with preloaded average US electricity costs but you can input your own rates.
You can find how much energy your device is using over a period of time by plugging it into the Monitor and then use the device for a some time e.g. a week. At the end of the week you can see your actual usage. If you want to you can reset the monitor and go through the process again so that you can measure your usage rates per week and see any variance or fluctuations. By doing this, you can see what percentage of your electricity bill any given device consumes, therefore allowing you to find out where you’re spending the most. We used it to help us avoid and detect vampire devices, which drain energy and therefore money even while supposedly turned off. This device is a good first step on the energy conservation road but it doesn’t provide you with an overview of what your entire house consumes.
The Monitor comes in a hassle free, green package and can be found in white, gray and lemon grass colors. It can be found on Amazon for $23.
Another device in the Conserve line of products from Belkin is the Smart AV Surge Protector. This surge protector allows you to truly turn off up to 6 devices connected using a simple button, helping to avoid losing money and power to vampire devices. The AV in the name clues you to the intended use of the surge protector, mainly for TV and home theater systems.
The surge protector comes with eight different sockets. One is the Master Outlet and five are Master Controlled. If you connected a TV to the Master socket and other devices in your home theater system into the Master Controlled. When you turn off your TV, the surge protector detects this and automatically shuts down all the devices in the Controlled sockets. There are also two sockets on the surge protector that are not Master or Controlled and are for devices that need constant power e.g. DVR’s, clocks, routers, etc. There is also a switch on the surge protector that allows you to turn off the surge protector. The Surge Protector can be found on Amazon for $24.99.
Together, both devices we tried make a great combination. They’d make a great gift for any energy conservationist but would also be good tools for anyone looking to save some money.