Charge an iPad for an entire year with your pocket change

A recent study analyzed how much energy Apple's iPad uses. The big takeaway? The iPad sips, not slurps, up power.

The spare change hidden behind your couch cushions could cover the cost of powering your iPad for an entire year.

The Electric Power Research Institute, a non-profit group funded by electric utilities, says the annual cost of charging an iPad every other day is about $1.36 a year. The EPRI studied the energy consumption of Apple's iPad to determine the amount of power needed to operate the devices and the impact it could have on the nation's total electricity use.

EPRI found each model of the iPad consumes less than 12 kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of a year, based on a full charge every other day. The energy-sipping Apple's iPhone 3G uses just 2.2 kWh of electricity a year, which costs consumers about $0.25 annually.

By comparison:

  • a 42-inch plasma television consumes 358 kWh of electricity a year;
  • laptop PCs use 72.3 kWh of electricity, about six times more than an iPad, and cost consumers $8.31 a year;
  • a 60-watt CFL light bulb consumes about 13 kWh of electricity and costs consumers about $1.61 a year.

Using Apple's figures that 67 million iPads have been purchased worldwide, EPRI found the average energy used by all the devices in the market is about 590 gigawatt hours. If the number of iPads tripled over the next two years, the energy required would be nearly equivalent to two 250-megawatt power plants operating at a 50 percent utilization rate.

That's a lot of power. However, if consumers use the iPad instead of televisions or desktop computers to play video games, send emails and read books, it could push down total electricity consumption.

Photo: Apple

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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