California becomes the first state to make energy efficient chargers mandatory

The state of California has just become the first state in America to hold consumer electronics companies accountable for their battery chargers. On Thursday the California Energy Commission voted 3 – 0 to force companies that make mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, to include energy efficient chargers with their devices starting on February 1, 2013. California says that low quality chargers eat up as much as 13% of all the electricity that the state consumes and that with this law they hope to save enough power to light up 350,000 homes. In terms of saving money, the state also estimates that they can put $306 million back into people’s pockets, something that’s extremely useful during this current economic situation.

Now how exactly will companies like Apple, Nokia, Samsung, etc., comply with this new legislation? For one thing, many of them already are. The companies that aren’t playing ball also don’t have to do a heck of a lot to up their game. They know how to make a charger that doesn’t use a lot of power, it’s just that building such a charger would drive up the bill of materials of a product, and in an effort to offer something for $199 instead of $219 they bundle a lower quality charger with little to no regard for the ill effects that such a decision has on the environment.

In a perfect world everyone would unplug their charger when their smartphone and laptop finished charging, but it’s a hassle to do that since power plugs are usually hiding in a hard to reach area. Instead companies are inventing chargers that don’t suck up power when not in use. AT&T released just such a charger back in March 2010 to little fanfare. Maybe it’s now time to pay attention to that product again? Maybe now it’s now time for operators to compete against each other on being more green?

Is that really asking all that much?

[Via: Phone Scoop]

  • Your article mentions the (in)famous AT&T ‘Zero Charger’, which you say received “little fanfare.”

    Maybe there’s a good reason for the lack of acclaim. Ever seen the user-reviews for that product? It’s not pretty.:

  • It’s about time that someone fixes this problem. It’s a small but influential step for the economy.

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