Calif. targets 'vampire' battery chargers

Jan. 13, 2012 at 8:14 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- California has set new efficiency standards for battery chargers, some of which can waste as much as 60 percent of the electricity they consume, officials say.

The California Energy Commission voted Thursday to approve first-in-the-nation efficiency standards targeting about 170 million so-called vampire charging systems that waste much of the electrical energy they suck from outlets, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The average California home has 11 of the ubiquitous chargers -- dubbed "vampires" by energy experts because they continuously draw small amounts of power from the grid when they're plugged into the wall, even if no device is connected to the charger or the device is attached but turned off.

Although strongly opposed by appliance and consumer products manufacturers, the regulations are expected to save enough electricity to power 350,000 homes and cut an estimated $306 million from residential and commercial electric bills each year, the commission said.

"This means that we can have the devices that we like in our lives and that make our lives easier," Commissioner Karen Douglas said. "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."

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