Myth or Truth: Leaving the charger in the socket consumes energy?

This is a subject that always generates discussion and rarely reaches a consensus. I particularly like to leave the chargers I use the most already plugged in, all the time. It’s much more practical and I still don’t run the risk of losing them or forgetting them somewhere.

My wife, however, always gets involved with this custom of mine. She always says that she uses up energy, that it’s good to take it off to save some and on days when she’s more dramatic, she even appeals to the risk of fire. So I decided to research the subject and answer the question: after all, leaving the charger in the socket consumes energy?

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To spend or not to spend?

Leaving the charger plugged in consumes energy

My guesswork said no. By logic, there should only be energy expenditure when there is current coming out of the electrical network to some device. As the charger is simply plugged into the socket, without powering any device, I believed that there was no energy consumption.

But I was wrong. The charger continues to draw power even with no device connected to it. However, it is not an expense that will make a big difference in the final value of your electricity bill.

Each electric utility charges a different value for the kWh (Kilowatt-hour). But let’s consider here the value of R$ 0.74 per kWh. If you leave the charger plugged in all day every day of the year, you will spend incredible amounts of money. BRL 0.60 per year! It’s about 5 cents a month! In other words, it’s just a stand-by consumption that won’t do any damage to your electricity bill.

And even while charging the phone, the source doesn’t spend any absurd amount. Let’s assume that you leave your cell phone charging for about 1h30m every day. At the end of the month, you will pay approx. BRL 0.30 more on the electricity bill. Obviously these values ​​can change depending on the power of the source, the size of the cell phone battery and also the price charged by the energy company.

And the risk of fire?

Leaving the charger plugged in consumes energy

So yes, my wife was right about the energy expenditure. But I was right there was nothing to worry about. After all, the expense is minimal. But what about fire hazards? Every now and then we see news about smartphones and other electronic devices that caught fire, even hurting users.

In this case, risks are lessened if you use original chargers and sources. That is, those that come with the device itself or are sold by manufacturers. The original chargers are tested by Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) and by Inmetro (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology).

Therefore, the original chargers are licensed and come with a series of protection mechanisms. Among them we can mention protection circuits against short circuits, peaks and power outages. That way, there is not much risk of fire when using an original charger.

However, if you have small children or pets, an accident may occur. Children love to catch anything that comes their way. So, when they see a cable giving soup in the socket, they are sure to go after it. Therefore, to avoid any risky situation, it is good to unplug the chargers.

How to calculate the energy consumption of a given device?

When writing this article, I was curious to know how to calculate the energy consumption of each piece of equipment in my home. So I will teach you how to do this calculation for you too.

For this, we will use the following formula:

Eel = P.∆t

That is, the consumption of electric energy (Eel) is the result of the multiplication of the power and the time of use. Therefore, “P” is the device power (measured in kW) and “∆t” is the device usage time. Energy consumption is always measured in kWh (kilowatt hours).

In addition, you also need to know what price per kWh is charged in your state. Also check that no tariff flag is in effect. They increase the kWh value and affect the final price of your electricity bill.

Source: How-to Geek

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