- Last Updated: 12:51 AM, July 29, 2012
- Posted: 10:54 PM, July 28, 2012
That coffee you’re drinking while gazing at your iPad? It cost more than all the electricity needed to run those games, e-mails, videos and news stories for a year.
The annual cost to charge an iPad is just $1.36, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a nonprofit research and development group funded by electric utilities.
By comparison, a 60-watt compact fluorescent bulb costs $1.61, a desktop PC adds up to $28.21, and a refrigerator runs you $65.72.
The group calculated the power consumption of Apple’s iPad to determine the effect that the popular device might have on the nation’s electricity use.
The answer: not much.
If the number of iPads tripled from the current 67 million, they would collectively need the electricity from one small power plant operating at full strength.
But if people are using iPads instead of televisions to play video games, or ditching their desktop computers for iPads, the shift to tablets could mean lower overall power consumption. A desktop computer uses 20 times more power than an iPad.
Baskar Vairamohan, the EPRI researcher who conducted the iPad test, said the group is now studying usage to understand whether the explosion in tablets is adding to power consumption, or reducing it.
Residential power demand is on track to fall for the third straight year, according to the government. A weak economy is keeping people in smaller houses and shacked up with others.
The juice would cost $1.36 at the US average residential price of 11.49 cents per kilowatt-hour.
But there’s an even cheaper way to go than the iPad. EPRI calculated the cost of power needed to fuel an iPhone 4 for a year — just 38 cents.