We have all heard the phrases “phantom power” and “vampire energy” about a million times, and yet the problem still exists – many people forget to unplug battery chargers and other electronics when they are done with them. The State of California has decided that instead of trying to change the stubborn behavior of humans, they’re going to change the behavior of the chargers. In 2013 the state will introduce new battery charger standards that will reduce overall consumption by up to 40%, save enough energy to power 350,000 homes, save Californians $300 million in energy bills, and reduce carbon emissions by one million metric tons.
It was estimated that the roughly 170 million chargers used in the State of California use a total of 8,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year and that nearly two-thirds of that energy is wasted. The energy usage of a charger comes in three stages, when it is plugged into the battery or device and actively charging, when it is plugged into the battery or device but not charging and when it is simply plugged into the wall but not connected to anything. The new standards will regulate the amount of energy used during those three stages in order to reduce the amount of energy wasted.
“When you consider powering California’s plugged-in lifestyle, these new efficiency standards will save consumers money and energy,” said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. “The standards will reduce the wasted electricity from powering our day-to-day appliances by 40 percent and help California meet its strategic climate policy goals. Once again, California is setting the standard for energy efficiency, keeping the state’s dominance as the most energy efficient state per capita.” California has recently stepped up to the plate by introducing their own climate change legislation in the wake of the federal government and world leaders‘ failure to do so. With an average of 11 battery chargers per household, these standards will do more than help the state on their goal to stopping climate change – they will save residents cash each and every month on utility bills.