CES New: Green surge protector saves energy & dough

It's better for the environment and your wallet to completely turn off your high-draw equipment such as your HDTV and the rest of your home theater rig rather than leaving them in standby mode. Hooking them all into Belkin's Conserve Surge Protector, which can shut down six of its eight spaced outlets all at once with a giant remote on-off switch, will save you the problem of shutting down each box one-by-one.

That giant toggle remote in the picture can control up to six Conserve Surge Protector, and has a sticky strip on the back to let you mount it anywhere convenient. Belkin's demonstrator, a friend of mine so I trust she wasn't fibbing, told me her utility bill dropped from $50 to $35 in the first month that she used it, and some eavesdropper standing next to me confirmed that most folks would realize a 20 percent savings if they completely shut off their gear rather than leaving them on standby. You'll be able to start your savings in May when the outlet strip hits stores, and you should make up the $50 cost in a couple of months if that 20 percent figure is accurate.