Standby power, also commonly referred to as vampire power or phantom load, is the energy electronics continue to draw when they are plugged in, but turned off. An Advanced PowerStrip (APS) provides premium fireproof surge protection and helps eliminate standby power wasted by computer and television peripherals. An APS works on a simple control/switched basis. When the control device, typically a TV or computer, is on, the switched outlets will have power and the devices plugged into them can be used. When the control device is turned off (or goes into a power-saving mode), the devices plugged into the switched outlets automatically turn off and stop drawing standby power. This saves energy by ensuring devices are switched off fully and not consuming standby power.

A Tier 1 APS works on a simple master/switched principle using current sensing technology. When the control device (a TV or PC) is on, the switched outlets (and hence the peripherals) are powered on. When the control device (a TV or PC) is switched off, the switched outlets and peripherals are powered off. Energy savings are derived from ensuring that peripherals are switched off when the TV is not in use. Higher energy savings occur when users leave peripheral devices in the on state something that is common with AV receivers and DVD players. A Tier 1 APS relies on user behavior to switch the TV on and off for generating energy savings. Tier 1 APS are simple to install, compatible with >99% of TVs, reliable, cost-effective, and form an important part of many energy savings programs in North America.

A Tier 2 APS is an enhancement to a Tier 1 APS. In addition to master/switched functionality, the APS also controls the TV based on user engagement, or more specifically, the lack thereof. The principle is to generate extra energy savings from the TV when a user is no longer present by switching the TV off along with the peripherals (e.g. children have wandered off or someone has fallen asleep in front of the TV). A Tier 2 APS functions in a very similar way to an occupancy sensor for light. If no one is in a room for a period of time, then the light is switched off.

To determine user presence an additional sensor, external to the APS is included. This sensor senses for user engagement and is typically either:

  • An infrared (IR) remote control sensor, or
  • A multi-sensor (infrared and motion sensing)

The sensor works in conjunction with a countdown timer that resets each time user engagement is sensed. When no user engagement (absence) is sensed for a period of time, the countdown timer expires, and the TV is switched off automatically, thereby generating energy savings from both the TV and peripherals. The Tier 2 APS energy-saving principle is engagement and behavior based rather than relying simply on user behavior as with a Tier 1 APS.