In 2012, the average cost to power a laptop computer in the United States was $8.31 US Dollars (USD) per year. By comparison, powering a tablet computer for a year cost an average of $1.36 USD, if its user fully charged it on alternating days. A desktop computer-and-monitor setup cost an average of $33.51 USD to power it for a year. The actual costs vary from one area to another, because different power companies charge varying rates for electricity.
More about power usage:
- The US Department of Energy notes that the slight power surge that happens when a computer or monitor is turned on does not surpass the energy wasted when the machines are left on without being used for long periods of time. The Department of Energy recommends that computer users turn off their computer monitor if it will not be used within 20 minutes. If a user expects to not use his or her computer within at least two hours, the user should turn off the entire system.
- Laptops are remarkably energy efficient compared with other consumer electronics. A laptop uses about 72.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, and a 32-inch (81-cm) flat screen television uses 542 kWh per year.
- Electronic devices that are in standby mode — plugged in but not in use — can be a drain on power supplies and cost consumers money. Electronic devices, including chargers for laptops and phones, that are unused but plugged in cost the average household about $100 USD per year.