New products help consumers tackle 'vampire power'


The trend for smarter, more energy efficient homes continues with a new line of power-saving and energy-efficient sockets from Belkin. The products are the latest in a line of devices from a number of manufacturers that help give consumers greater control over their electricity consumption.

On February 2 home electronics manufacturer Belkin announced four additions to its Conserve range of power-saving products: the Conserve Insight , Conserve SmartAV , Conserve Valet and the Conserve Socket. 

These products intended to help tackle 'vampire power '- a popular term referring to the amount of power consumed by devices while in stand-by mode.

The fight against 'vampire power ' is a growing trend and was a popular theme at international technology fair CES (January 6-9) earlier this year. At CES, appliance company GE released the Nucleus home energy manager which allows consumers to monitor their electricity usage and see which devices consume the most energy even when not in use.

The Conserve Insight from Belkin (£24.99 /€29.90) monitors the energy consumption of any device connected to it in terms of money, watts and carbon dioxide. The Conserve Valet (£44.99/€39.90), Conserve SmartAV (£34.99 /€44.90) and the Conserve Socket(£9.99/€13.90) operate slightly differently, automatically turning off devices when not in use.  

The Conserve Valet can charge multiple mobile devices and then cuts the power to each device in turn once it is charged; the Conserve SmartAv multi-socket senses whether connected devices such as a TV, stereo or games console are in use or not and cuts power to each device accordingly. The Conserve Socket has a power timer then switches off after a pre-set amount of time - 30 minutes, three hours, or six hours - allowing devices to be charged only for the amount of time required.

Other similar devices such as GE's 24-Hour Power Strip Timer or SmartSockets from Kensington are available to buy at and other retailers.

So-called 'vampire power' is a major source of energy consumption: the Lawrence Berkley International Laboratory, which is closely associated with the US Department of Energy, estimates that in an average American home 'vampire power' accounts for 10 percent of all electricity usage.

More information on 'vampire power' can be found at

The new editions to the Belkin Conserve range, launched last summer in the USA, are now available to buy across the UK and Ireland from Amazon, Argos, Comet and Tescos. The full range will be launched across Europe later in the year. ( Note pricing in Euros refers to Ireland only; prices for mainland Europe are not yet available)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas