How Much Does It Cost To Charge Your iPad Yearly? Not As Much As You’d Think

A new study conducted by non-profit organization  Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) found that on an average an iPad will consume less than 12 kWh of electricity per year, amounting to a cost of only $1.36.

That’s less than what you’d normally spend on an app, or what you’d pay at your favorite coffee shop.

From their analysis:

The analysis shows that each model of the iPad consumes less than 12 kWh of elelctricity over the course of a year, based on a full charge every other day. By comparison, a plasma 42” television consumes 358 kWh of electricity a year. EPRI conducted the analysis in Knoxville, Tenn., at its power utilization laboratory. Costs may vary depending on what region that a consumer resides and the price of electricity in a particular location.


The EPRI analysis shows that the Apple iPhone 3G consumes 2.2 kWh of electricity each year, which results in a power cost of $.25 annually.

For most people who use their iPads to do normal activities like surfing the web and watching videos, this is a considerable saving, both in terms of energy consumed and cost. EPRI’s research estimates the average laptop to consume 72.3 kWh annually, costing around $8.


Assuming that the number of iPads sold till now is around 67 million, EPRI’s calculations show:

[T]he average energy used by all iPads in the market is approximately 590 gigawatt hours (GWh). In a scenario where the number of iPads tripled over the next two years, the energy required would be nearly equivalent to two 250-megawatt (MW) power plants operating at a 50 percent utilization rate. A quadrupling of sales in two years would require energy generated by three 250-MW power plants.


[Vice President, EPRI, Mark] McGranaghan also pointed out that changes in battery technology and technology features will affect energy requirements. “Our measurements indicate that new iPads will consume about 65 percent more electricity per year. What remains to be seen is how better batteries, better features and changing preferences will affect overall energy consumption by consumers as a whole.”

At such a large scale, even changes that seem insignificant start to greatly affect the net consumption. A small optimization in the battery, or in the OS (GPS activity, push notifications etc.)  could make a big impact.

[EPRI via GigaOm]