Even when you're not charging your cell phone or laptop, the power cord sips a bit of energy from the wall if you leave it plugged into the outlet. In the U.S., all those tiny sips add up to wasting around $3 billion per year in energy costs.
There are all manner of fancy gadgets out there to help folks reduce their vampire power consumption, but the simplest solution for plug-in chargers is to just unplug them from the wall. Of course, that's easier said than done. We're busy people! Sometimes, we need to grab that cell phone and run, or we just get distracted and forget it's plugged in all together.
Enter the Outlet Regulator. Conor Klein, a student at Rhode Island School of Design, modeled and named his device after those blood-sucking creatures. After a leech in nature drinks its fill, it drops off of its host. Klein's energy-saving device works the very same way:
this product mimics the leeches inelegant yet efficient solution for over-consumption. it is hard to tell when electronics are or are not taking energy and many never stop taking energy if they are plugged in (e.g. cellphone chargers). this product solves that problem by using a timer circuit and electromechanics to eject its plug which disconnects your device from the wall outlet. once the plug falls out, all energy consumption stops and only resumes once the plug is inserted again.
It's such a simple solution, and the potential energy savings are huge! Check out the Outlet Regulator in action:
The Outlet Regulator isn't available for purchase, but we'll keep our eyes peeled!
This device doesn't address vampire power that electronics use in standby mode: TVs, gaming systems, printers, and so on. For that problem, you'd want to look into using smart power strips to help get a handle on what devices you're allowing to suck electricity from the wall.