A laptop consumes less power than a desktop computer. 

Still, it is worth to find out how much electricity our laptops are consuming and how much we are paying for that electricity.

- How much electricity does a laptop use? -

The wattage of a laptop’s power adapter stands for the amount of power that the laptop it is designed to consume. For example, on the picture below, the power adapter’s label specify a power consumption of 130 W (Watts).

Laptop electricity usage

In some cases, it is possible to use power sources with lower wattage but the laptop might have to take steps to compensate for the undersized power source. 

An undersized power source may lead to slower battery charging, reduced CPU or GPU performance or some other side effects. So, it may not be a good idea to use a lower wattage power adapter to save on electricity.

Note that the laptop’s power adapter will continue to draw power even while not connected to the laptop. But the power consumption will be very low and the savings from powering off the adapter will be nearly negligible.

As shown on the picture above, our DELL laptop power adapter is rated at 130 Watts (W). This means that it will consume 0,13 Kilowatt hours (kWh) for every our of continuous usage.

130 W / 1000 = 0,13 kWh

If we were to use the power adapter for 10 hours a day, it would consume 1,3 Kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day. Because we are paying to our electricity provider 0,217 euro per every Kilowatt hour we consume, this means that it would cost us around 0,28 euro per day to power up our laptop.

0,13 kWh x 10 hours per day x 0,217 euro per kWh = 0,28 euro per day

This value multiplied for the number of days that we use the laptop per year, would give us an estimate on how much we would have to pay on electricity every year.

Important note: Someone who is actively using the laptop for very demanding activities, for example mining crypto currencies or playing sophisticates games, will have a much bigger electricity usage than someone using the laptop for browsing internet or writing a word document.

If you want to know exactly how much power your laptop is using, below you will find details about how you can use a plug-in power meter to measure the power consumption.

Electricity usage and cost calculator

The calculator below can be used to estimate the energy consumption and the electricity cost of a laptop.

You just 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 laptop’s adapter:

> It has a power rating of 110 Watts

> You use the laptop 8 hours a day for 320 days per year

> You are paying 0,2 euro (or dollars or pounds) per every kWh you consume 

You will be paying around 61 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or…) per year in electricity costs.

Still, if you want to know the exact electricity usage of your laptop, your best option is to use a plug in power meter to measure the electricity consumption. 

Clicking on the image below it will redirect you to the Amazon page where you can have a look to the specifications of the power meter we use for our measurements.

All of our house appliances and devices like the washing machine, the dishwasher, the TV or the printer are plugged to 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 a period of time.

A plug in power meter displaying the power usage of a device

A few other examples from our ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ page that may be of your interest:

Gaming console electricity usage
Gaming console
Computer monitor electricity usage calculator
Computer monitor
Wi-fi router electricity usage calculator
Router
Desktop printer electricity usage calculator
Desktop printer

What is a Watt, Kilowatt or Kilowatt hour

Not everybody it is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts or Kilowatt hours so if you would learn more about them, have a look to this YouTube video that we have prepared about this topic.

What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh)

Or you can have a look to 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 to other units

> What are Power (P), Voltage (V) and Current (I)

Watt (W)
Watt
Kilowatt (kW)
Kilowatt
Kilowatt hour (kWh)
Kilowatt hour
Power, voltage, current
Power, Voltage, Current

How to save electricity on a laptop

A laptop does not use that much electricity but we can reduce the electricity usage even further but following some good practices

1.-  Adjust the energy settings

If not in use, make sure that your laptop goes to sleep mode within a reasonable time. We have our laptops setup to go into sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Additionally, you may want for your laptop to turn off the screen after a few minutes of inactivity.

2.- Quit or uninstall unnecessary programs

Most of the computer programs use CPU and GPU as well as RAM and Hard Drive to run. Specially, those programs that use significant amount of CPU or GPU will significantly increase the electricity usage.

And that is about it… if your laptop is setup to go into sleep, turn off the screen during inactivity as well as it is not running any power consuming computer programs, it will not use that much electricity.

If you think that your laptop is using too much electricity, you may need professional advice. Who knows, maybe someone has got access to your computer and it is running some software for his/her own benefit.

Electricity conservation - Save and conserve energy

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 on your energy bills. 

And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.

Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there. 

Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.

 

For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per hour (0,01 kWh) worth of electricity per day, that would add to 32,850 Kilowatt hour (kWh) per year. 

9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year = 32,850 kWh per year

That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:

> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro per year.

> To produce 32850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.

Have a look to this page for more information about the amount of resources needed to produce electricity.
 

In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.

If you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home, have a look to this YouTube video were we show some useful tips to reduce the electricity usage at home and decrease the electricity bill. 

Two pie charts showing what home appliances and devices are using the most electricity at home.

We hope that you have found the information on this page informative and of value. 

If so, please consider to share or subscribe to our newsletter.

We dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to create content and your support and engagement will encourage us to keep moving forward.

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