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Fact or Fiction: Leaving Your Smartphone Charger Plugged in Uses a Lot of Energy

Is it true that your smartphone charger uses energy constantly if it is left unused in the socket? And that your electrical bill will fall if you put your charger away after charging? We'll find out for you!

Sneak consumption by a charger?

You have probably heard the term “sneak consumption”. When devices continue to use energy when they have been turned off, this is known as sneak consumption. A clear example of sneak consumption is the television: you see that the stand-by light is constantly on. The digital clock on your microwave also uses power. But what about smartphone chargers? Are they also sneak consumers?

Used versus new

In the past - let's, say, in the 90s, mobile phone chargers used a fair bit of power when they were plugged in even without their devices. That was noticeable: the electricity was transformed into heat, and the adapter felt warm to the touch. This was also a fire hazard.

The current generation of chargers has been modified, so that when there is no smartphone attached, the charger uses only a negligible amount of power, certainly nowhere near what the stand-by feature of a TV set uses. The smartphone charger will therefore feel cold to the touch if it is not connected to a device.

But be careful! Do you find that the charger does get warm when it is plugged in? Then it may be defective and it is advisable to replace it with a new one.

If you notice that when charging, only your cable or the connector gets warm, then you should take extra precautions and buy a better quality cable or connector, or be sure to unplug it from the socket after charging.

Conclusion: fiction!

But! Even though the impact on your energy bill is negligible, we do advise you always to unplug your charger.


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