Is it true that leaving the charger plugged in spends a lot of electricity?

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Pavel Yosifovich
@pavelyosifovich
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saving, so easy to write and so hard to get. We all care - or should worry - about saving, because making money is not easy and, as they say in many TV commercials, "every drop counts". It has always been said that a good way to save is unplug the mobile phone charger when not in use, even if the truth is that, with the data that awaits us, we cannot agree. That phantom consumption is nothing more than a myth and math has the answer. Is it true that leaving the charger plugged in consumes a lot of light? Well no.



The first thing you should know is that the electricity consumption is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh, equivalent to one thousand watts per hour), and that its price will ultimately depend on the power you have contracted in your home. So to do this post, we took the price per kWh at the time of writing these lines, which is 0,12 euros, that is 12 cents. Another important point is that, to know the real consumption, you need to know how many watts a charger consumes that is connected but without charging anything, pass those watts to kWh and multiply by its price and by the hours it spends connected. For this case, we will assume the following:

  • Electricity price: 0,12 euro.
  • Consumption of a connected charger without charging: 0,2 W all’ora * = 0,0002 kWh
  • Hours spent connected without loading anything: 16 hours (suppose you sleep eight hours and charge your phone only during this time).

* Standby power usage since 2013. It is actually lower, but we assume it is only 0,2W.



A connected charger barely uses electricity

If the consumption of a connected charger without charging is 0,0002 kWh and we keep it connected for 16 hours a day, the daily energy consumption is:

  • 0,002 kWh x 16 ore = 0,0032 kW per day which, multiplied by the price per kWh hour, translates into
  • 0,0032 kW x 0,12 euro / kWh = 0,000384 euros per day.

Now there is nothing left multiply that figure by 365 days to know, more or less, how "dramatic" is that phantom consumption that makes us leave the charger connected without charging anything. Indeed, this consumption is a "phantom consumption" because it simply does not exist:


  • 0,000384 euros per day x 365 days: 0,14 euro.

If we stick to the data, leaving the charger connected if charging something 16 hours a day for a whole year generates an "expense" of 0,14 euros, that is 14 cents. An average Spaniard who lives 83 years will spend 11 euros in his entire life because of this "phantom consumption". So no, leaving the charger connected without charging does not generate any expense. Now it's true that you can unplug and hopefully at the end of the year you will be able to purchase two gummy candies.


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