Monday, May 04th, 2009 | Author:

Did you know that leaving a phone charger plugged in without a phone attached wastes energy? I guess I had never thought of it until I saw this hilarious commercial from the Department of Energy today.

The commercial is called “April” and it is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lose Your Excuse program.

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23 Responses

  1. i assumed my charger wasted a little energy but decided it wasn’t enough to make a big deal, but it makes sense that they’d want to notify everyone because if everyone unplugged their chargers it would probably make a huge impact.

  2. Cute PSA, I’ll have to admit.

    Like most people, I never really gave much thought to unplugging a cell phone charger when I’m not using it. I wonder how many other things around the house are sucking up energy for no reason…

    Thanks for posting this!

    Coping with Infidelity’s last blog post..5 Things Not to Do When Your Spouse is Cheating

  3. thanks for writing about it … out of ignorance i always used to leave the charger plugged …

  4. This is interesting. but what i do is charge the phone overnight so i guess i am also wasting on electricity myself.

    Piles Treatment’s last blog post..Hemroid Surgery

  5. 5
    July 8, 2009

    Can anyone tell me the name of the song that plays on the girls phone?

  6. 6
    July 10, 2009

    I have no idea Laura. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  7. 7
    August 1, 2009

    well to start off if you know anything about elec. circ. no elctricity flows with out a close circ. with the phone hooked up the the circ. is closed but when the phone is off the circ. is open

  8. I never really gave much thought to unplugging a cell phone charger when I’m not using it. I wonder how many other things around the house are sucking up energy for no reason…

  9. This something I am constantly guilty of. I will try to continue to do better on just letting the cell phone charge.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Cell Phone Reverse Search =-.

  10. I didn’t know about that!Thanks for the information. I will be more careful now with the charger.

  11. 11
    September 16, 2009

    Unless the phone charger has an LED indicator on it, it will draw NO power. Even with an indicator it draws so little power (due to the nature of the typical LED used for such things) that a car charger with an LED wouldn’t even kill a car battery after being left plugged into a car for weeks even if it hasn’t been turned on to charge it. Lastly, even if you leave your phone on the charger, you will only use as much electricity as the phone draws to keep it fully charged. The more charged the battery the less power it draws, and vice versa. So unless you let your phone stay dead for long periods of time, you’ll use just as much energy in the end leaving it plugged in as if you would when you only plug it in to charge it up to full after it is nearly dead. So don’t feel bad if you leave your phone plugged in.

  12. 12
    October 24, 2009

    as matt said, a phone charger by itself will not use up any energy since it does not complete a circuit. A phone attached to the charger makes it a closed circuit. Cmon people, read a book somtime.

  13. Matt, although you are correct about no electricity flowing in an open circuit, the phone charger internally closes the circuit with mains power. And it DOES use power when no phone is plugged in.

    HOWEVER, the difference that unplugging your modern cell phone charger would make is like pissing on a forest fire. If I left my Blackberry charger plugged in 24/7 without the phone being charged, it would cost me roughly $0.07 per year at $0.08/kWh. It draws roughly 100mW without the phone. Accidentally leaving a 100W bulb on for 9 hours would cost the same. If I started worrying about my cell phone charger I’d be stressing out non-stop about which light I may have left on.

  14. 14
    January 19, 2010

    Has anyone been able to figure out how much money is saved by unplugging it? Or even better, how much money, per minute, it takes to power a typical charger?

    Who’s into math?

  15. Oh. I havn’t ever headed about that. I will be more careful from now with all the chargers. Thanx

  16. Thanks for that!

    There’s the concept of an eco gadget that does exactly that, it’s called Leech Plug and it’s self disconnecting when your cellphone is fully charged.
    The thing is, it’s just a concept; until it’s reality we have to do it manually :P
    .-= bit of green´s last blog ..Welcome :) =-.

  17. I never thought about the wasted energy either. Thanks!

  18. This is good information……I always thought, the charger wont eat up electricity because the cell phone is not plugged in……

  19. I just did a little research and research says that leaving your phone charger plugged in wastes energy but not much at all. They said if you really want to save energy turn the power off to power strips that have things like TV’s, radios, microwaves, other appliances plugged into them. Turn them off when your sleeping, at work, or anytime they are not being used.

  20. Hi there!

    I agree we should learn how to save electricity by plugging out our gadgets (laptops, cellphones, Ipod) that are fully charged. We have this habit of leaving our chargers plugged for hours, its really a waste of energy and money. It is also one reason why they are easily destroyed. Make sure that you time it while you charge or check it from time to time, it will prevent accidents from happening. I hope that more people will be able to come across this post. Thank you for the reminder!


  21. I have always known that leaving electronics plugged into an outlet, (even when the item is turned off) still uses some energy. I have a friend who, every night before she goes to bed turns the power off to her entire house to avoid using more energy then needed. Needless to say she has a battery operated alarm clock.
    This is extreme, I know, but hey, whatever works.

  22. Excellent reminder not to waste energy! You are spot on — leaving any kind of charger plugged in will waste energy. What’s more, the same goes for many appliances even though they are turned off. I’m speaking of common household goods such as VCRs, computers, printers, television sets, VCRs, microwave ovens and more. I have this device called “Kill a Watt” that quickly and easily shows me how many watts a certain appliance uses when it off and calculates my savings if I shut it down. Once you go around you home and do this for many items the savings really adds up and you are helping to save he planet at the same time. With regard to phone chargers, some responsible manufactures are doing something about this. For instance Nokia now offers a “High Efficiency Charger” for a few bucks more (Model AC-8U). According to Nokia, ” If you forget to unplug, this green performer uses just 10% of the standby power used by conventional chargers.” Bravo! This is the charger that I purchased for my last Nokia phone when I needed a replacement.
    James´s last [type] ..Eczema Free Forever Review

  1. [...] 2) UNPLUG UNUSED CELL PHONE, MP3 & LAPTOP CHARGERS – This funny kids video from the Department of Energy sums it up well, click: Lose Your Excuse [...]

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