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CA passes energy efficient battery charger standards

The state passed new battery charger standards that take effect in 2013; could save enough power to run 350,000 homes.

January 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The California Energy Commission voted 3-0 on Thursday to regulate energy-sucking battery chargers, requiring more efficient chargers for cell phones, lap tops and other common electronic devices.

The state's standards will take effect Feb. 1, 2013. The state's energy saving standards are often the basis for later federal standards, according to the commission.

"They're watching California very closely," said Pierre Delforge, a senior engineer with the Natural Resources Defense council, which supports the new standards. "Usually when California does something, they move next."

Not everyone was happy with the news, however. Jill Notini, spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers called the commission's move disappointing and said it could lead to a patchwork of state and federal standards.

"It essentially means manufacturers are going to have to retool for California and they may have to retool again when DOE comes out with their final standard," she said. "There could be implications for cost of products and choice of products."

Yet officials say most chargers on the market continuously draw power when plugged in, even if there's no device connected to it. The new regulations are expected to save enough electricity to power nearly 350,000 homes and save residential and commercial ratepayers $306 million a year.

The Associated Press contibuted to this report.