photo by Leo Dirac (Flickr CC)

Wasteful battery chargers for smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, etc., will be subject to new, stricter rules in the US state of California.

‘Vampire’ battery chargers can waste up to 60% of the energy they take from electrical outlets. California is the first US state to confront this problem, with the California Energy Commission voting unanimously to improve efficiency standards, which will cover some 170 million chargers.

The manufacturers of consumer appliances of course strongly objected to the new regulations, despite projections that the improved energy standards would save $306 million per year on commercial and residential electricity bills.

From the Los Angeles Times:

This means that we can have the devices that we like in our lives and that make our lives easier. But by taking a few relatively simple steps to improve battery chargers, we can save so much electricity, take care of the environment and save ratepayers money.

–Commissioner Karen Douglas, California Energy Commissioner

California’s energy plan has a tradition of placing a priority on energy efficiency, above the development of renewable power, starting with air conditioner regulations back in 1977. This strategy has helped keep the state’s per capita energy consumption the same over the past 30 years, as opposed to the US as a whole, which saw consumption increase by 50% over the same period.

The chargers are called vampires because they continue to suck energy from the wall if plugged in, even when they are not charging their battery-powered devices. (Tip: don’t leave your laptop, smartphone, tablet charger, etc., plugged into the wall!).

Read more on the story in the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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