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Does unplugging chargers really save energy?

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In the midst of an ecological and economic crisis, do small daily gestures really help to improve the situation? For example, many of us do not unplug our chargers from outlets when no device is powered.

Does changing this habit really allow us to consume less electricity? Are there real savings by unplugging these chargers? While a triple crisis (economic, energy and ecological) is hitting us hard, we have studied this question.

Unplugging your chargers, an ecological gesture?

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According to the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), chargers that remain plugged into a socket consume a lot of energy. Unplugging them is therefore necessarily an ecological gesture.

Moreover, Ademe even specifies that a charged phone but still connected to the charger makes it consume energy. It all depends on the charger used.

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Over time, manufacturers have stuffed their chargers with technologies that considerably reduce their energy consumption. These so-called “intelligent” chargers are even able to reduce their consumption to almost “zero” when they remain plugged in or when the phone is fully charged. To find out how much a charger consumes, there are wattmeters that measure the actual consumption of said charger.

Suppose you don’t have a latest generation charger. In this case, Engie estimates that 6 chargers plugged into a power strip consume 0.3 Watt per hour when they are not powering any device. This represents 2.6 kWh per year. A grain of sand in the annual consumption of a French household.

Indeed, according to an analysis by the Energy Regulatory Commission dating from 2016, the average electricity consumption per month per household in France is 390 kWh, or 4,679 kWh per year.

Unplug your chargers to save money?

As you will have understood, even if disconnecting the chargers from a home remains an ecological gesture, there remains a very small nothing among the ecological challenges that we must take up. And from an economic point of view then?

While waiting to know the new energy tariffs, the price of a kWh amounts on average to 0.1740 euro including tax for an individual at the time of writing these lines. So, let’s take the example of a power strip with 6 chargers connected continuously, consuming 2.6 kWh per year. By disconnecting them, we would save 0.45 euros per year.

Even assuming that your household has a dozen power strips and that all these power strips accommodate six chargers plugged in continuously, the savings made by unplugging them would be 4.5 euros per year.

As you will have understood, in absolute terms, unplugging your chargers allows you to save energy. Nevertheless, both from an ecological and economic point of view, the impact of this small gesture remains anecdotal to the challenges we face. But after all, why not. It costs nothing.

Source: Presse-Citron

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