# Is it true that if a cable is connected to an electrical outlet, it consumes electricity even if it is not connected to a device?

## Shared or Borrowed Neutrals on Mains Electricity Circuits

May, 2021

Not true. In any case, the socket (in working order) is energized. Electricity is consumed under two conditions: 1. The presence of voltage, 2. The flow of current.

As soon as you plug in the device, electric current starts to flow and only then the meter will start to take into account the energy consumption

May, 2021

Only if the circuit is closed. Those. you know that there are two cables in the outlet, two contacts (we do not take into account the ground now), and so, the current "flows only when they are closed in the circuit. But if you just close them, you will get a short circuit (you will shock), but if there is a device between one contact and the other, then it will start to consume energy, and the current will "flow" through the wires. But if this device is simply plugged into an outlet, but the power button will be in the "Off ", then this is the same open circuit as just an empty outlet without everything. Another thing, for example, a TV. Even when it is turned off, a lamp on it in standby mode is on, and it consumes minimal energy to stay in this mode and wait your command to run.

May, 2021

Purely theoretically, any two conductors have some kind of non-zero capacitance between themselves, that is, the connected cord can be considered as a capacitor through which an electric current will flow. But the capacity of an ordinary household cord, even if a 50- or 100-meter construction "coil" is so small that the current consumption is even difficult to measure, not to mention charging money for it at a tariff.

May, 2021

Well, why complicate the answer so much. I'll try easier.

The presence of ANY consumer connected to the outlet will mean power consumption. If the outlet is free, then the flow will be zero.

May, 2021

If we are talking about a simple cable (for example, the one with which your PC's power supply is connected) plugged into an outlet, then definitely not. No current will flow through an open conductor.

However, if we are talking about chargers, then the step-down transformer that is installed there will consume some power. And although there is a dependence between the primary winding current (and, therefore, the power consumption) on the load, even a high-quality transformer will "consume electricity", even if a little. For example, I would be more worried that in such a situation the transformer will heat up more than under load, which can lead to both increased wear of the charger and its fire, depending on the quality of the device and some other factors. p>