Should you unplug your chargers when you’re not using them?

In a world full of increasing technology and social media, we’re now using our phones and electronics even more than usual – meaning our chargers are becoming even more precious to us! (Don’t even get us started on when we lend one to a friend and then they never return it). Many of us are guilty of leaving our chargers plugged into our sockets when we’re done with them, but does this cost us money? Should you unplug chargers when you’re not using them?


Vampire power

No, this isn’t the new book in the Twilight franchise – instead, Vampire Power is the name given to the amount of power a device uses when it is not in use. Many people have warned us about keeping our chargers plugged in when we’re not using them, because of such “vampire power” – but how much power do they really use?

How you can measure it

If you’re worried about how much vampire energy you’re wasting on plugged-in chargers, there is a way to measure it for yourself. There are numerous energy meters online and in most homeware or wholesale stores that you can buy and use in your own home. All you have to do is plug the meter into a free electrical socket, and then plug in your charger into the meter itself. This will tell you just how much energy your charger is using when it is on stand-by.


So how much energy do they actually use?

What you may find when you plug in your charger is that the meter reads at 0.0 watts. This is because these chargers use only a fraction of the energy, that is not picked up by a meter. The meter would only really pick up a reading if there were 6 chargers all plugged in at once – and even then it would only read 0.3 watts.

How much does this cost you?

Well, based on the figure of 0.3 watts for 6 different chargers, we’re going to assume that these will be plugged in 24/7 (although during that time you may be using it which would mean you would not be using vampire power, but real power). With 8760 hours in a year, that will work out to be 2.628-kilowatt hours (kWh). Depending on your energy rates, this will cost you anywhere between 34.1 cents per year in extra energy costs, to 79 cents a year. And remember, that’s for 6 plugged in chargers.


So what is the answer?

Now we have a rough figure of how much vampire energy we use keeping our chargers plugged in, and how much it will cost us – it is completely up to you how you want to handle it. These plugged in chargers are not a danger (as long as they’re legit and no wires are hanging out), and they will not skyrocket your energy bills into the stratosphere, but they are increasing them ever so slightly. So if you want to save yourself 79 cents a year, unplug those chargers.