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Managing your device's battery




Managing your device’s battery and energy costs


As the cost of living crisis continues to be impacted by soaring fuel costs, we have taken a look at the energy consumption of our devices. A common concern is that a laptop with a poor battery life will consume more energy or that a smartphone left charging overnight will cost the consumer more.


However, it turns out that charging your device shouldn’t cost you very much at all. With current energy prices and normal use (9 hours a day), it will cost you between £2.40 and £10.00 a year to keep powering your laptop.


This website shows you exactly how much your device costs to charge based on its model and the energy consumption given by the manufacturer.


If you want to find out more about how these costs are calculated, there’s a great article by Ecocost on exactly how much energy your laptop uses, and how this is calculated. The average laptop uses 65 watts at full power, and over a monthly period will cost you very little to charge (less than £1).


But what if my laptop has a dead battery?


If your laptop has a dead battery it won’t cost any more to keep using it. The device knows the battery is dead and will not try to charge it, so your laptop will use the same amount of power as if the battery was fully charged.


How to help your battery last longer!


There are things you can do to help your device's battery last longer whilst saving on energy. Read our tips below or book in for a one-to-one session with us to learn more about how to set up your laptop in the most efficient way (more details at the end of this post).



Battery setting settings on a Windows 10 operating system


Here are a few examples:


1. Change your sleep settings


When your laptop goes to sleep it uses less energy. You can save battery by lowering the idle time before your laptop goes to sleep. For example from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.


2. Lower your screen brightness

The screen on a laptop or phone can use a lot of power if it’s at full brightness, up to around a quarter of the total power used. Try making it less bright, while also making sure you can still see it comfortably.


3. Make use of battery saving mode


Most devices, including your smartphone, will have an inbuilt battery saving mode. This will lower your screen brightness and reduce background activity helping you save battery power. Devices will normally have this set up to turn automatically once your battery reaches a certain level. For example Windows 10 laptops will enter ‘low power mode’ when the battery life is at 20%.


4. Keep your laptop cool


Laptop fans use power and turn on when needed. They’re required more when there is less ventilation around the device, e.g. when the laptop is sitting on soft furnishing or bedding. Try moving your device to a desk or a table to encourage air to flow through. This will reduce the amount of electricity required to cool the laptop.


5. Turn off bluetooth


If you don’t use it, turning off bluetooth on your device will save some power. You can also turn off wifi if you’re not using the internet to save even more energy.


6. Turn off your device and keep it unplugged


Most laptops continue to use electricity when completely turned off and still plugged in. Despite using less electricity, Off mode can actually use more electricity than Sleep mode per day due to the extended period of time that the laptop is in that mode. So, to save energy, remember to unplug.


7. Turn on optimised charging


Newer tablets and smartphones often have optimised charging built in. This means that if you charge your device at a similar time each day, for example overnight, it won’t fully charge your device until you are likely to unplug it. If you put your phone on charge at 11pm each evening, the device won’t charge past 80% until near the morning when you are likely to unplug it, using less energy.


If you would like support with setting up your device to get the most out of your battery, and lower energy costs, get in touch and we can book you in for a Device Quickstart Session.


Learn more here: https://www.communitytechaid.org.uk/device-quickstart