How much energy does a Raspberry Pi use per year? Cost calculation

A Raspberry Pi can be used for various cool Raspberry projects. As such, it is likely that your Raspberry Pi will be powered on all the time: 24/7 and year round. So you may be wondering: what does it cost me to have my Raspberry Pi turned on for one year? What is its power consumption and how does it affect my energy bill?

Power consumption per Raspberry Pi Model

The power consumption per Raspberry Pi will depend on the model that you have at hand. It will also depend on whether it is heavily used (high CPU load) or rather idle. There are of course other factors that come into play, such as the operating system used. In this case, the operating system is Rasbpian Lite.

Model Idle High CPU load
Raspberry Pi 3 B+ 300mA (1.9W) 980mA (5.1W)
Raspberry Pi 3 B 260mA (1.4W) 730mA (3.7W)
Raspberry Pi 2 B 220mA (1.1W) 400mA (2.0W)

Cost to keep a Raspberry Pi running for one year

The cost of operating the Pi will depend on the power consumption at one hand, but also at the price of electricity in your country. In this example, I will use 0,12 euro/dollar as the cost for 1 kWh.

Model Cost (Idle) Cost (High CPU load)
Raspberry Pi 3 B+ 2,00 EUR / USD 5,36 EUR / USD
Raspberry Pi 3 B 1,47 EUR / USD 3,89 EUR / USD
Raspberry Pi 2 B 1,16 EUR / USD 2,10 EUR / USD

In other words: running a Raspberry under maximum load should cost no more than roughly 5 dollars per year.

How to reduce the energy consumption?

As said previously in this article, the power consumption will depend on a number of factors. For example: the model you own (newer models versus older models), the load of the device (low load or high load) and also the functionalities you use/enable.

Save power on your Raspberry Pi via these options:

Disable HDMI on the Pi

By default, the display circuit is powered on for the Pi. But if you don’t need a screen attached to your Pi (for example in a headless setup where you use SSH), you could disable it to save power.

In the file /etc/rc.local, you should add the following line of code and reboot the pi:

/usr/bin/tvservice –o 

And to re-enable later, replace the o with a p or remove the line.

Disable on-board LED lights

While LED’s don’t draw much power, every little bit helps to keep the energy consumption down of your Raspberry computer. To disable the green and red LED lights on Raspberry, you have to edit a file and reboot your device.

Open and edit this file: /boot/config.txt and add this into this file:


This will disable the ‘action’ and ‘power’ LED once you save the file and rebooted.

Disconnect devices/dongles

Every device you attach to your Pi will draw some power for it to operate. If you plug in an external USB camera, this device will draw its power via the USB so that it can capture a picture or record a video. Yes, this is even when the external device is not actively in use.

Unplug the PI from the power source

If the Pi is powered off, but still plugged into a power outlet, the computer will still use about 30mA (0.1W) of energy.


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