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Is your plugged-in mobile phone charger using electricity?

Is your plugged-in mobile phone charger using electricity?

If you want to know if a plugged-in charger uses energy, the straight answer is “Yes”, but that's not the whole story. The truth is that the consumption is negligible.

If you are one of those people who go around the house unplugging every charger that comes your way, you should know that your efforts are worth practically nothing.

In all fairness, it must be said that you save around 35 cents a year if you unplug your mobile phone chargers at home. In fact, for the electricity meter to detect it, you would have to have all the family chargers - and a few more - plugged in at the same time.

The consumption of this device is 0.2W and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has converted this data into its monetary value. The result is sure to surprise you: Charging your phone costs 50 cents a year . Leaving the charger plugged in does not even cost 15 cents.


"Charging your phone costs 50 cents a year . Leaving the charger plugged in does not even cost 15 cents."


Chargers and energy use

This type of consumption is called phantom consumption and in the case of chargers it is very low. However, there are other devices that can increase your energy consumption without you realizing and make you pay a little more than you should.

In the content we have provided below, you can see that phantom consumption costs you 5 euros per month and being able to reverse this is valuable.

They are things that you leave on, even without realising, and it is an expense that we must at least take into account and control.

For example, phantom consumption occurs when you leave a “little red pilot light” on, or when something has an internal transformer that continues to work while it is plugged in (you will notice that it is hot, even if it is not charging or operating anything).

In short, it is important to control the energy use of large electrical appliances, devices that leave the “red pilot light” on standby, and not to leave power-consuming transformers plugged in, even if they are not plugged into anything. However, you should also not be obsessed, especially with mobile chargers and small devices, whose energy use is minimal and without which we will hardly notice a difference.

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