Eli5 do my USB sockets cost me money?


If an unused phone charger left plugged in apparently costs me money as its using my electricity, how does this not apply to a socket outlet that has a built in USB.

In: 4

That socket outlet also consumes small amounts of power all the time. It’s made by a better company than the cheap wall plugs, so it wastes less, but not none.

Technically, yes.

Though the amount is so minuscule that over a year it adds up to cents per charger.
With a lot of chargers, or if you’re trying to add up all the chargers everyone has plugged in it might be more of an issue, but a couple high quality chargers isn’t a huge amount of money over time. The question of “is it worth $1 a year to constantly plug and unplug this charger.” may be a question of personal convenience.

Modern phone chargers use so little power that you’ll be able to keep them on for a year for pennies.

This is because only a few small components used to detect something connected need to be powered.

For a computer USB socket, the sending is done via the CPU or bridge which are always powered already so there’ll be no additional draw.

A pair of USB outlets built into a double socket may consume in the region of 0.1W on standby. Over a year this adds up to about 1kWh, which from October would cost about 50p. Multiply that by how many pairs of USB outlets you have.

An unused phone charger uses between 0.1 and 0.5 Watts when plugged in and idling – usually the larger number when it’s got an indicator light.

This means that every hour it’s plugged in, you use 0.0005 kWh worth of energy, which you pay for.

Over a year (365 days, 24 hours) that’s about 1-4 kWh, which costs about 10-45c USD based on the national average price.

In my country, that’s up to R10 per year, not even enough to buy a can of coca cola.

Wall sockets with integrated usb ports use about the same.