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A connected USB storage device, even if unused (unmounted, etc.), consumes power.

How can I turn it off / turn its power off so that it doesn't consume power as if it was disconnected, but without actually disconnecting it?

I suppose that [temporary] disabling the USB port the device is connected to would lead to the same results. Is that possible?

** Running Linux Kernel 3.1 (Arch Linux)

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You will find these links helpful

Also install PowerTOP utility which,

  • Combines various sources of information from the kernel into one convenient screen so that you can see how well your system is doing at saving power, and which components are the biggest problems.

  • Show how well your system is using the various hardware power-saving features Show you the culprit software components that are preventing optimal usage of your hardware power savings

  • Provide you with tuning suggestions to achieve low power consumption

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