Study shows consumers waste large amounts of electricity by over-charging mobile devices

Study shows consumers waste large amounts of electricity by over-charging mobile devices
Do you leave your phone or laptop plugged in even after it’s charged completely? According to a study of British users, at least 1/5 people routinely leave their mobile devices plugged in once the meter hits 100%. Some do it out of a fear of running out of juice later, while others admit to simply being “too lazy” to bother with unplugging their devices.

The consequences of those actions are actually rather serious, both at an individual level and a cumulative level. Routine overcharging of batteries is estimated to cost households close to $100 a year, and significantly shortens the life of the battery, which in turn leads to either purchasing a new battery, or often an entirely new device.

Cumulatively, in the U.K. alone £134 million (U.S. $210 million dollars) is wasted this way. At a time when many households worry about tightening their budget, unplugging your phone when it’s charged is an easy way to save some money. It also places a greater stress on natural resources, as that energy isn’t even put to good use, instead being converted to heat and lost.

So if you're looking to do your pocketbook – or mother nature – a favor, be sure to unplug your phones and laptops when they’re charged up.

source: Mail Online via Textually



1. MarloThaMartian

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 27, 2010

Im guilty of this

2. cober319

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

why is there not a device in place where charging completely stops and won't begin again until the battery drops to like 90% or something. Is "there an app for that"...?

8. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

My EVO does this now and I believe most HTC phones do it as well. It can be kinda annoying though because you take your phone off the charger and do one or two things and the battery drops to 90 to 95% immediately. I then plug it back it and wait for the green light to come on and then it is truly fully charged...or you get an SBC kernel that over rides the "trickle charge".


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

its kinda tough to wake up at 3 in the morning to unplugg my cell phone!

4. mctcm

Posts: 204; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

your excuses disgust me. an iphone user would be up to do this


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

if i owned an i phone i would too! ispecially if a battery replacement cost 80$ or more

14. ibap

Posts: 871; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

I can't figure out if the positive votes for mctcm are because readers believe iPhone users would be devoted enough to do this or gullible enought to leap out of bed at 3 to do this. Or do the readers just think this is hilarious?

15. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

the sarcasm in that comment was great lol

5. PimpStrong

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 25, 2011

I thought my phone stopped charging once fully charged?? I mean isn't it just a minute trickle of energy being used?

7. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I know I'm guilty of doing this, but it's mainly because I charge my phone and laptop every night, so it hits 100% in the middle of the night, how am I supposed to know to wake up and unplug the charger.?

9. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Good advice. A little trick here and there can help the pocketbook and the environment. Also, I think my girlfriend would find it interesting that leaving items plugged in will decrease their life. Cheers

12. mctcm

Posts: 204; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

your blow-up doll isnt a girlfriend

16. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011


10. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

i keep my laptop plugged in most of the time. and i charge my phone while i sleep at night, so it charges till the morning. oops

11. gotphone unregistered

this is a totally different information than what I've been reading about regarding the newest lithium ion batteries. I was under the impression that lithium ion batteries now don't have the memory issue and don't over-charge. which is correct??

13. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

they dont over-charge, however it isnt exactly "good" to leave your phone plugged in, is what i would take from it all

17. MrNobodyWTB

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 03, 2012

I know that it doesn't solve the energy being wasted problem. But can't the phones (or do some already) stop the battery charge when it gets to 100% and start using power straight from the wall? That way the drain on the battery is absolute minimum and it doesn't damage by overcharging. Sometimes it works out that my phone needs to be charged a couple hours before I go to bed, And I don't want to wake up for work with a battery less than 100%, Can usually make it through the work day with a full charge.

18. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

My MacBook and HTC Thunderbolt already do this. Once the Macbook reaches full charge it begins a very slow discharge while plugged in. Once the LED on my Thunderbolt reaches green it stops charging but maintains the battery (it still slowly loses charge). I would think most modern portables do such a thing.

19. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Not this junk again. This argument changes all this time, first they say that over charging you batteries are bad, then they say that constantly charging and discharging your batteries is bad. And each argument uses the same points, that doing whatever will save power, save your battery, etc. And doing the opposite will waste power, kill your battery, etc. And each time those arguments are made they attach the "go green" message to it. Remember when they were running those commercials saying to unplug your charger after you take your phone off it because it wastes electricity? Well they took them down because the logic was flawed. A charger plugged into a wall with nothing attached is an open circuit so electricity is not flowing, therefore not using electricity. Also plenty of devices are already programmed to switch to using power from the wall after the battery is fully charged, especially laptops. These "studies" are largely inflated by the groups that either conduct them or pay to have them conducted and its always those "go green" people who twist the data into something they can get their message across. More than likely they asked people if they leave their devices in after they've been charged then combined that with their own energy beliefs (which have no research behind it at all) and drew this conclusion. And next year we'll see an article telling people not to constantly charge and discharge their batteries because it's ruining them and causing them to pile up in landfills which is damaging to the environment.

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