Do electric cords/power plugs still use electricity when you only have one end plugged into the outlet?

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Hey Chrome, good question. There are two possibilities. If you're talking about an extension cord and nothing is plugged into the other end, then no, it is not using power. Many things do have something called a, "Phantom Load." This was mentioned in a previous answer refering to VCR's, TV's and other appliances. Anything that can be turned on and off with a remote, anything with a clock built in, like a microwave, and anything with a transformer will be using a small amount of power all the time, even if you turn it off. Your little cell phone charger utilizes what is known as a wall pack transformer. Even with the phone unplugged, it is using about 1 watt 24/7. Not much, but if you look around your home, you probably have 50 phantom loads. We have a home that is powered by the wind and sun, and phantom loads are a huge problem for people that live on a finite amount of electricity. Our entertainment stand is plugged into a surge arrestor power strip. At night or if we go away, we ... more
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