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

Posted: , by Scott H.

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

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posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:08 6

1. MarloThaMartian (Posts: 45; Member since: 27 Dec 2010)

Im guilty of this

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:12 2

2. cober319 (Posts: 11; Member since: 10 Nov 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"...?

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 14:17 1

8. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 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".

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:15 15

3. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:25 11

4. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 13:08 2

6. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 18:08 2

14. ibap (Posts: 785; Member since: 09 Sep 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?

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 19:06 1

15. jbash (Posts: 345; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)

the sarcasm in that comment was great lol

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:47 5

5. PimpStrong (Posts: 310; Member since: 25 Jul 2011)

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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 14:12 2

7. Jyakotu (Posts: 854; Member since: 12 Dec 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.?

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 14:19

9. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 16:32 5

12. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

your blow-up doll isnt a girlfriend

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 19:07

16. jbash (Posts: 345; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


posted on 03 Jan 2012, 14:21

10. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 425; Member since: 21 Jan 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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 15:42

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??

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 17:17

13. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

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

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 20:54

17. MrNobodyWTB (Posts: 27; Member since: 03 Jan 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.

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 22:56

18. JC557 (Posts: 1794; Member since: 07 Dec 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.

posted on 04 Jan 2012, 09:23 2

19. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 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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