How Much Electricity Does Your Computer Consume?

How Much Electricity Does Your Computer Consume?

Remember the early 2000s, when you’d share a computer with the rest of your family, and everyone would take turns surfing the web in the living room?

Well, those days are over. Today, pretty much everyone has a personal laptop or desktop, and most of us keep our laptops constantly plugged in, and ready to fire up.

Now, have you ever thought about how much energy your computer consumes on a monthly basis, and how you can cut back on this energy usage? In this blog post, we walk you through how much electricity it takes to run different computers, and give you tips on how to save energy!

How Much Electricity Does It Take To Run Your Average Computer?

The amount of electricity it takes to power your company varies according to the type of computer you use, as well as what you use it for.

In this section, we’ll discuss the amount of energy consumed by desktops, laptops, and tablets, so you can get a better sense of how much energy you’re using each month.


Generally speaking, desktop computers use 60 to 300 watts per hour. Yes, that’s a pretty big range, but that’s because the amount of energy that’s required to power a desktop fluctuate based on what the desktop is used for.

For instance, if you’re using your desktop to work on a school or work assignment, and you’re just using Microsoft Word and/or Google, this won’t consume much power. But if you’re a hardcore gamer and you play tons of computer games on your desktop, then your desktop’s energy consumption will scale up accordingly.


As you may guess, laptops consume a lot less energy than desktops – they only use approximately 30 to 70 watts per hour. Again, the exact amount that your laptop uses will depend on what you’re using your laptop for.

Another factor that influences the amount of energy a laptop uses is the screen (and brightness of the screen). If you own a mini laptop with a small-sized screen, then this will definitely consume less energy. The same goes if you make it a point to keep your screen brightness on “low”, or turn off the backlight function on your keyboard.


Out of the lot, tablets are the smallest devices, and it naturally follows that they consume the least amount of energy. On average, tablets use just 15 to 30 watts per hour, which means that four hours’ worth of tablet usage is roughly equivalent to one hour’s worth of desktop usage.

Again, whether you keep your tablet screen turned to maximum brightness or you choose to use a lower brightness setting plays a big role in impacting the amount of energy your tablet consumes.

Desktops vs laptops vs tablets: Energy consumption in sleep mode

Want to know how much energy your computer consumes when it’s in sleep mode? Here’s a handy table that you can reference:


How Much Electricity Does It Take To Run An Apple Computer?

Apple computers have been popular for quite some time now, and there are plenty of Apple “purists” who will only use Apple products such as the Mac, Macbook, and iPad. If you’re curious to learn about the energy consumption of these three devices from Apple, here’s a breakdown for your reference:

Mac (Apple’s desktop computer that’s been sold by Apple since 1984)

  • Retina 5K 27-inch: 217 watts per hour
  • Retina 4K 21.5-inch: 161 watts per hour
  • 21.5-inch (non-Retina): 74 watts per hour

Macbook (Apple’s laptop computer, popular amongst professionals in creative fields)

  • Macbook Pro 13-inch: 54.5 watts per hour

iPad (Apple’s tablet computer for those who want to consume content on the move)

  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch: 30.4 watts per hour

2 Tips To Save Electricity On Your Computer Usage

Want to go green, and cut back on your energy bill at the same time? Here are two tips that will help you save electricity from your computer usage.

1. Enable Sleep Mode

Ever gotten to your computer in the morning, and realized it’s been running all night long?

To avoid wasting energy unnecessarily, make sure you enable sleep mode. Once you’ve activated this setting, your computer will automatically power down after an extended period of inactivity.

2. Use A Single Power Strip

To make it easier for you to shut down your computer and related accessories, consolidate all your devices and plug them into a single power strip.

This way, when you want to stop using your computer, you can flick a single switch and have everything shut down at once.

Want To Save The Environment (and reduce your electricity bill)?

To go green and reduce your electricity bill at the same time, consider purchasing your electricity from a retailer that offers green electricity plans.

Here at iSwitch, we offer electricity that is 100% carbon neutral, and consumers enjoy up to 30% savings when using iSwitch instead of other electricity retailers.

Check out our Green Plans for both residential and commercial properties today!

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