You are currently viewing Electricity: how much does it really cost not to unplug your charger?

Electricity: how much does it really cost not to unplug your charger?

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

by Jessica Meurens

With energy prices exploding, we are all learning about little tricks that allow us to pay less. Among these, we often find the fact of remembering to unplug your charger, once it is no longer connected to the phone. But how much does it really cost?

All advice is good to take to reduce your electricity bill. Unplugging certain appliances, defrosting the fridge, using multi-sockets with switches, using low-consumption light bulbs… Among these little tricks that allow you to use less electricity, we often find unplugging the charger once the phone is is more connected to it.

Indeed, like other household appliances, chargers should be unplugged from outlets when not in use. This is the case of phone chargers but also those of your laptop, tablet, connected watch, etc. Moreover, it is also preferable to unplug the chargers of your devices once they have their full battery.

In reality, by leaving your charger plugged in, it will continue to consume electricity, in a vacuum. In addition, it may damage your charger much faster than expected. By unplugging it from the device and the socket as soon as you no longer need it, you will preserve it but also avoid problems of overheating, which can cause a fire or an explosion.

But unplugging your chargers will also save you energy, since there won’t be any wasted electricity. But is this economy as big as they say? Not really…

How much does it cost to leave a charger plugged in empty?

Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, adopting this good habit will not really affect your bill… In 2020, the French energy group Engie had calculated the cost of a charger plugged in empty.

To do this, they used a wattmeter to calculate the energy expenditure of six chargers, voluntarily plugged into wall sockets without load. Results ? The chargers consumed, on average, 0.3 watts per hour. Over a year, this represents 2.6 kWh.

On your electricity bill, this represents between 65 cents and 1.34 euros per year (depending on your energy supplier), if you leave six chargers plugged in permanently empty. A sum ultimately derisory compared to current electricity prices. On the other hand, this experiment used conventional chargers. There are fast chargers that consume much more energy.

Unplugging your chargers would therefore not allow you to make big savings, but it is still important to take this reflex, which is better for the planet.