A few weeks ago I bought one of those energy-saving power-bars but I only got around to installing it yesterday. I really should have done this a long time ago though because I love it!
You might remember that I had previously set up my "entertainment system" to a switch on our wall meant to turn on/off lamps. The idea was that I'd flip the switch when we went to bed or when we left the house. It worked fine except for two problems:
1) 90% of the time I'd forget to hit the switch
2) My wife hated it because she'd sit down on the couch and press the remote's on-button for a few minutes before realizing the power was off, necessitating her getting up and turning on the wall switch.
I'd seen a similar item at our local Canadian Tire made by Noma, but it was going for around $80! Way too expensive in my opinion. Frankly I doubt that a gadget like that could ever save you the $80 it costs to buy it. It just didn't make sense to me that a relatively simple item like that should cost so much.
So I'd looked around for similar gadget and found one on Amazon.com. Unfortunately Amazon.ca doesn't carry them so I had to pay a couple bucks to get it across the border.
I think it was worth it though. These things basically work by having a "master" outlet with a sensor to tell if that outlet is being used or not. If it isn't, the power bar cuts the power to the other outlets (except for two that are "always on"). It's really easy to set-up, basically just a power-bar, and it works like a charm. I plugged my digital video recorder into the master outlet and now a few seconds after I turn that off , my TV and video game systems/Blu-Ray player also turn off.
Plus I love it because it's one less thing I have to remember!