Gerardo Franco
3 min readJul 19, 2021


We’re discussing energy conservation. How much do you believe it costs to leave the charger plugged in but not in use? In the grand scheme of things, it’s a waste of time.

Although the electric thermos, dishwasher, iron, or washing machine are the ones that consume the most energy in our home, it may appear that leaving the phone charger plugged in 24 hours a day, seven days a week does not involve any significant energy or economic expense. But we must go further.

There are many everyday items that we frequently leave plugged in that may be absorbing energy that we are unaware of, one of which is the mobile charger.

One of the leading causes of energy waste is what is known as ‘vampire energy,’ which occurs when electrical appliances remain plugged into the wall or socket in question even when they are not in use. Mobile chargers are the most common offenders in this crime, and they can cost us a lot of money over the course of our lives. When we consider the millions of chargers that waste energy in every home on the planet, it is not a negligible amount.

Laptops, tablets, and bedside lamps are also guilty of draining our bank accounts when they are not in use. Some devices, such as our smartphone’s AC adapter, continue to provide power even when the battery is fully charged or no devices are plugged in.

As an example, the annual consumption of a charger plugged in but not charging is 1,168 kWh. And the annual cost of a charger plugged in but not charging is $0.14.

Although this type of consumption is very pleasant, the devices that we leave on, even when we are not aware of it, represent an expense that we must at least consider and control. Because, as we discussed briefly above, if all people who use mobile phones leave the charger plugged in without charging all day, every day of the year, we are talking about a significant energy waste; we could even discuss how that energy could be used to meet the energy needs of an entire country.

While new TVs, laptops, and other types of devices absorb power when not in use, so, while a phone charger may not absorb a lot of power on its own, when combined with other electronic devices and all the other phones in your home, it could result in a sizable electric bill (and needless to say waste of electricity for nothing).

And it can also cause security problems

Although the phone charger is not a direct hazard, leaving it plugged in for an extended period of time can cause a spark. This is more likely when a device is plugged into a charger; however, as we have seen, the device continues to receive power while plugged in, which means there is always the possibility of an electrical fire.

Aside from ensuring that mobile chargers are not left plugged in for extended periods of time, you can also purchase an on/off button plug strip. By connecting many of these devices to a strip, you will have the quickest and easiest way to turn off all of these power suction devices in an instant with a simple switch of the strip button. It will not only help you prevent a fire, but it will also help you save energy and help the world with this first-world waste of energy.



Gerardo Franco

Gerardo Franco is a science communicator, with studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology.