How much electricity a PC uses is rather difficult to calculate because many factors affect electricity consumption.
But on this page, we will explain how to determine a PC’s average power consumption and electricity cost.
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On average, a computer can consume between 60 to 300 Watts per hour, but this is only a very rough estimation.
While a desktop computer will use around 200 Watts of power, a laptop computer will use around 100 Watts of power, but the exact power consumption will depend on the PC used.
For example, a PC used for rendering or mining cryptocurrencies with CPU or GPU will use much more power than one used only for browsing the internet or writing documents.
If you need to know the exact power usage of your PC, your best option is to use a plug-in power meter.
If you don’t know the power consumption of your computer, or if you want to know the exact electricity usage, your best option is to use a plug-in power meter to measure the electricity consumption.
Clicking on the image below will redirect you to the Amazon page, where you can look at the specifications of the power meter we use for our measurements.
Our house appliances and devices like the washing machine, the dishwasher, the TV, or the printer are plugged into a wall socket.
So, with a power consumption meter, we can determine how much electricity our appliances or devices are using, and, more importantly, we can measure the electricity usage over time.
Have a look at this YouTube video for more information.
If you know the power consumption of your PC, the calculator below can be used to estimate the energy consumption and the electricity cost of a PC.
You need to adjust the values in the PARAMETERS section to your requirements, and the calculator will automatically display the RESULTS section.
For example, if your desktop computer has:
> A power rating of 300 Watts
> It is in use 10 hours per day and 350 days per year
> You are paying 0,2 euros (or dollars, or pounds, or …) per every kWh you consume
You will be paying around 200 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or…) per year in electricity costs.
If you don’t know how much you are paying per kWh, you should be able to find the cost per kWh on your electricity contract or in one of the electricity bills.
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to your contract or your electricity bills, this website does show the electricity cost per country.
Here are a few other examples from our ‘Electricity usage and electricity cost calculators‘ page that may be of your interest:
A desktop computer can save a lot of electricity by correctly adjusting some settings.
1.- Adjust the energy settings
If not in use, ensure your computer goes to sleep mode within a reasonable time. Our computers are set up to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity.
Additionally, you may want your computer to turn off the screen after a few minutes of inactivity.
2.- Quit or uninstall unnecessary programs
Most computer programs use CPU, GPU, RAM, and Hard drives. Especially those programs that use a significant amount of CPU or GPU will significantly increase electricity usage.
And that is about it… if your computer is set up to go to sleep, turns off the screen during inactivity, and is not running any power-consuming computer programs, it will not use that much electricity.
A gaming PC uses between 300 and 500 Watts per hour.
In a PC, a GPU and CPU use more electricity than all the components.
When used for gaming, the GPU and CPU are continuously in use, and that is what increases electricity usage.
The calculator in the ‘Electricity cost calculator’ section can be used to estimate the electricity used by a computer in 24 hours.
Not everybody is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts, or Kilowatt hours, so if you would learn more about them, look at this YouTube video we have prepared about this topic.
Or you can have a look at this electricity measurement units calculators to get a better understanding of:
> What is a Watt (W), and how to transform Watts into Kilowatts
> What is a Kilowatt (kW), and how to transform Kilowatts into Kilowatts hour
> What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh), and how to transform Kilowatts hours into other units
> What are Power (P), Voltage (V), and Current (I)
Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy.
Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment
The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less for your energy bills.
And it also benefits the environment because conserving electricity prevents unnecessary waste of natural resources.
At the individual level, it may not look worth trying to save a few watts here or there.
Still, every little one counts, and if hundreds or thousands of us save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.
Reducing our PC’s electricity usage, even a very small amount, would greatly impact preserving our natural resources.
For example, if 9000 households save as little as 10 Watts per day (0,01 kWh) on the PC’s electricity usage, that would add to 32850 Kilowatt hours (kWh) saved per year.
9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year
32,850 kWh saved per year
That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:
> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euros (or dollars, pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively save nearly 6000 euros annually.
> To produce 32,850 kWh of electricity, it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.
In any case, small energy savings do count when looking into the bigger picture.
Suppose you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home; look at this YouTube video. We show some useful tips for reducing electricity usage at home and decreasing the electricity bill.
Buying an energy effcient appliance or device is going to save electricity, water and decrease your energy and water bills, but at what prize?
Find out if you have paid a reasonable prize for that efficient device or appliance.
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