Energy-Saving Features of Eco-friendly Surge Protectors and Power Strips

May 8, 2023 by CyberPower

Did you know that when you use energy-efficient power strips and surge protectors, you can save money and help the environment? Eco-friendly, surge-supressing power strips and surge protectors offer energy-saving features that not only extend the life of your connected electronic devices, but they can also help extend your budget.

How eco-friendly surge protectors safeguard electronic devices, your wallet, and the environment

Basic power strips deliver utility power to your electronic devices. A power strip with surge protection delivers power and protects your electronic devices from over-voltages and power spikes. Surge protectors safeguard your connected devices from damage, extending their usable life, and saving you the cost of replacing damaged equipment. Some surge protectors are also designed with energy-saving features which reduce your energy usage and save you money.

Why smart strips are the smart choice

Surge protectors with energy-saving features are known as “advanced power strips” or “smart strips.” Advanced power strips defend your electronic equipment from harmful power spikes and can help lower your electric bill.

How? Smart strips save energy by reducing the amount of standby electricity used by desktop computers, televisions, gaming consoles, and home theatre/AV equipment. Standby electricity, also known as vampire power, is considered “leaking energy”. This occurs when electronic devices remain plugged in when they’re not in use, but yet still drain power.

So why does my TV use standby power when it’s turned off? It allows your TV to turn on instantly and/or power the remote control.

Advance power strips are divided into two tiers:
Tier 1:
Tier 1 power strips include surge protection via a MOV (Metal Oxide Varistors) feature which diverts excess voltage away from electronic equipment during a power surge to prevent damage to sensitive equipment. MOVs are popular because it is a very robust type of surge protection.

Energy-saving Tier 1 advanced power strips feature three types of outlets:

  • Master
  • Energy-Saving
  • Always-On

How it works: Using an energy usage sensor, Tier 1 devices save energy by shutting down connected equipment when the main device (like a computer) is plugged into the “Master” outlet and turned off, or when the electricity flow is under a set threshold. Peripherals, like a monitor or a printer, that are plugged into the energy-saving outlets are then shut off from the power.

In other words, when the master outlet detects that the computer has gone into standby mode or is turned off, a switch shuts down the power to the energy-saving outlets, thus saving the wasted standby power used by peripheral devices. If preferred, the “always on” outlet can be chosen to keep device standby power always on and ready when needed.

Energy-saving Tier 2 advanced power strips feature two types of outlets:

  • Energy-Saving
  • Always-On

How it works: Tier 2 advanced power strips are controlled by an infrared (IR) smart sensor which detects whether a remote control is being used. If the remote has not been used during a set time (e.g., one or two hours), the energy-saving outlets shut off and cut power to the connected devices.

For example, a television uses power, even when it’s not turned on. The TV is plugged into the energy-saving outlet and an infrared (IR) sensor is placed on the television. The IR smart sensor turns the electronics plugged into the energy-saving outlets off if it doesn’t sense activity after the set time. When you think of how many hours a day your TV is not being used, the electricity savings can really add up.

Other features to consider when looking for an eco-friendly power strip or surge protector:

LED Indicators

Some surge protectors include LED indicators, which provide a visual display of whether the surge protector has adequate joules of protection to supress a power spike and protect a device from damage. If the PROTECTED light is lit green, your device is protected.


Safe-Fail cuts power to connected equipment when the surge protector cannot provide protection anymore.

Joule Rating

The joule rating of your surge protector determines how much energy your surge protector can absorb. The higher the joule rating, the greater the protection. For more information on joules, see:

Save energy, money, and help conserve natural resources by choosing an eco-friendly surge protector or power strip. When you need a surge protector, CyberPower is your ultimate ally in power and provides solutions to all your power protection needs.

Our website has the tools and resources to help you choose the right surge protector for your home or business.