Smart extension lead saves power

A new device promises to save electricity and money by automatically turning off your monitor, printer, speakers and any other peripherals when you shut down your PC.

Smart extension lead saves power

The PC Powerdown is a trailing extension lead with five plug sockets, into which you connect any peripherals you use with your PC.

A USB connection runs from the device to the PC, which allows software installed on the computer to shut down power to all peripherals when the computer turns off.

The included software can be scheduled to shut down power at any time, so computers in an office can be set to automatically switch off, along with monitors and other devices, shortly after the end of office hours.

This could save huge amounts of power, claims manufacturer PC Powerdown, which suggests that the Government alone could save £66 million per year and reduce its annual carbon footprint by 280,000 tonnes.

However, there is a cost to this power-saving device. Users have to purchase not only the £29.95 hardware device, but also pay a £10 yearly licence for the accompanying software, although the first year is free.

An enterprise version is also available, which allows a network administrator to control the scheduling for various PCs from a central server and also program boot-up times so that employees don’t have to wait to start work when they arrive at the office.

This version costs £45 per workstation, with a yearly licence charge of £20.

There is little justification for a repeating licence fee, though, and this will eat into potential cost-savings from the use of the device.

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