Its not just wall warts that have phantom loads; most people with desktop computers might turn off the computer at night but leave the monitor or the sound system on standby, there are just so many switches. (I admit that I often do) Here is a very clever power bar that detects when the computer is on; when you turn it off, power is cut to the monitor or whatever other peripherals are plugged into the slave outlets. No fuss or muss and starting at only $ 24.95. Chris at Digital Media Thoughts took a Kill-A-Watt to his system and discovered how much stuff sucks phantom load:
"When I got the Kill-A-Watt last year, I was surprised how much power some things draw when not in use. The following are just a few examples:
Altec Lansing Speakers: 3 watts
19" LCD Monitor: 1 watt
HP Scanner: 3 watts
External DVD burner: 3 watts
Laser Printer: 7 watts
USB hub: 5 watts
I plugged the above peripherals along with a few other things into the switched outlets. I did not plug my cable modem, wireless router, or Slingbox into the switched outlets since I often use these when my main computer is off. In total, I plugged 30 watts of equipment into the switched outlets.
My total computer system draws about 190 watts when fully powered. Using the Smart Power Strip, idle power has been cut from 70 watts to 40 watts. Therefore, before this little experiment, I was drawing 190 watts for 8 hours a day and 70 watts for 16 hours a day for a total of 2.64 Kwh per day or about $0.35 at my local billing rate. As a result of the above changes, I am now drawing 190 watts for 4 hours a day and 40 watts for 20 hours a day for a total of 1.56 Kwh per day or about $0.205. So I'm saving $0.145 per day, and while YMMV, it certainly seems feasible for this product to easily pay for it self many, many times over."
Sounds like a useful device!