Do Power Strips Use More Electricity? (Checked)

If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of appliances and devices plugged into a power strip. If you’re not sure whether or not using a power strip actually increases your electricity bill.

The main function of power strips is to help conserve energy by turning off all cords at once when they are not being used.

The use of power strips also reduces the risk of fire because it prevents the overloading of circuits, which could lead to a fire hazard.

In this article, I will talk about if power strips use more electricity or save electricity as well as if surge protectors can save more electricity than power strips.

Here’s If Power Strips Use More Electricity:

In most cases, power strips do not use more electricity. In fact, they can actually help you save money on your energy bill by preventing damage to your appliances. However, there are some things to keep in mind when using a power strip and how much power they use.

Electrical plugs with cords disconnected from electrical power strip, electricity bill with heap of coins, concept of energy saving

A common myth about power strips is that they use more electricity than individual appliances plugged directly into an outlet.

This is not true because when an appliance is plugged into a power strip and turned on, only one plug on that strip will be in use at any given time; therefore, only one socket will be using energy from the wall outlet at any given time.

How Much Electricity Do Power Strips Use?

There’s no definitive answer to this question because the amount of electricity used by a power strip depends on many factors including the number of devices plugged into it, the type of device and how often it’s turned on and off.

A typical power strip uses about $0.10 of electricity per month or $1 per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s less than 1 percent of your monthly electric bill.

Some power strips have surge protectors built in, which can cost more than $15 per strip. But even those devices only use about $2 worth of electricity per year — still less than 4 percent of your monthly bill.

Power strips come in two varieties — those with surge protection and those without it. Surge protectors protect against sudden surges in power from thunderstorms or other electrical disturbances, while non-surge-protected strips just give you more outlets.

The only difference between these two types of strips is how much electricity they use, so let’s look at that late in this article.

Do Power Strips Increase the Electricity Bill?

In general, power strips don’t use much more electricity than the devices plugged into them. But there are some exceptions:

  • If you have an especially large device or several devices with high power requirements, you may see a noticeable increase in your electric bills.
  • The amount of energy consumed by your devices and power strip has nothing to do with how many devices are plugged into it or whether it’s turned on or off; it only depends on how much energy each device draws from the wall outlet.

To answer this question, we need to look at some important factors that influence your electricity bills:

  • The number of devices that can be plugged into a power strip.
  • The wattage of each device plugged into the power strip.
  • Your utility company’s billing rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity consumed.
  • How much time you actually leave those devices on when they’re not being used.

Do Surge Protectors Use Less Electricity than Power Strips?

Surge protectors are a more efficient way to protect your electronics from power spikes and surges. They’re built specifically for this purpose, so you know they’re effective at their job.

They contain a circuit board that switches off the power to your devices when it detects a spike in voltage. This is called “clamping” and has been widely adopted by manufacturers of surge protectors.

Power strips, on the other hand, use metal oxide varistors (MOVs) to protect against surges. MOVs are also known as transient voltage suppressors (TVSs). Their job is to short out high-voltage transients that travel through a wire. This protects your equipment from damage but causes it to use more electricity than surge protectors do.

The difference is significant: A recent study found that using MOVs instead of clamping circuits resulted in an average of 25% more power consumption across all appliances tested — including televisions, computers and audio equipment.

Read our blog here about can power strips be plugged in extension cords?

What’s the Difference Between Power Strips and Surge Protectors?

Power strips work by boosting the voltage coming into a single outlet so that all of your devices will remain connected even when there’s a voltage drop.

For example, if you have several devices plugged into one outlet, each device will receive the same amount of electricity no matter how many items are connected at once. This is because power strips are essentially just extension cords with multiple outlets.

Surge protectors work in a similar fashion by boosting voltage but they go even further by also blocking any fluctuations in current or fluctuations in frequency that could harm your electronics.

They also offer protection against electrical spikes and surges that occur when an appliance such as a refrigerator or air conditioner turns on or off suddenly. In addition, surge protectors may include other features such as fire resistance or protection from lightning strikes.

A lot of people are confused about surge protectors and power strips. They think that a power strip is just a fancy surge protector.

The first thing to realize is that power strips are not surge protectors.

In fact, they offer no protection against surges whatsoever. They’re simply extension cords with multiple outlets on them.

The main difference between a power strip and a surge protector is found in their internal circuitry. A surge protector has components that detect when a voltage spike has occurred and then diverts the excess voltage away from your electronics. This keeps them safe from damage caused by spikes in voltage levels coming into your home or office building through the wiring system.

Surge protectors use only one outlet per device, but they protect each individual device by using special circuitry to divert excess voltage away from them before it reaches them — meaning that even if one device does draw too much current, it won’t affect any other devices plugged into the same surge protector.

Can Unplugging Your Power Strip Save Energy?

The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as it sounds.

First, let’s clarify what we mean by “unplugging your power strip.” Most of us think of our power strips as a way to save space by combining multiple electronics into one location. But they also serve as a convenient way to turn everything off with one switch.

The question then becomes, can leaving this switch on waste electricity? The answer is yes.

In fact, leaving any device plugged in when it’s not being used can be quite wasteful — even if it’s turned off. This is because modern electronics use very little power when they’re turned off; some devices may only draw 1 or 2 watts of electricity when turned off.

That might not sound like much, but if you have 10 or 20 devices plugged into an outlet, those extra watts add up quickly and can cost you money over time.

Check out our blog here about 3 reasons powers strips stop working.

Conclusion

Power strips don’t use any more electricity than regular outlets because they aren’t actually connected to your electrical system — they’re simply a way to make it easier for you to plug in multiple devices without having to use up all of your outlets.

Power strips use the only thing that can affect is how many devices are plugged into them. If you have just one device plugged into a strip, then there will be virtually no difference in energy usage between using an outlet or using a power strip with one plug-in point.

However, if you have multiple devices plugged into the strip, then it’s possible that they could draw more current than if they were plugged directly into an outlet (although this would be unlikely).

Sources

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