Are you thinking of new ways to go green this spring? Try getting a new AT&T Zero Charger for your cell phone, which will stop drawing an electrical charge if your charger is plugged into the wall, but the phone isn't attached.
Conventional chargers continue to draw power when devices are plugged into a wall, even when the battery has finished charging or when no device is attached to the charger. AT&T said Wednesday that it will soon be selling this replacement cell phone charger starting in May for $29.99.
The AT&T Zero Charger automatically senses when a mobile phone is not plugged up to the charger and it cuts the power supply from the wall socket. Other devices, including TVs, computers, and all kinds of home appliances, also draw power from the power grid when they are plugged in even if they aren't turned on. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that standby power makes up as much as 20 percent of home energy use in the U.S.
The amount of power that is consumed by individual phone chargers plugged into the wall is small. But when you add it up over a long period of time, it can be significant. For example, AT&T estimates that if 80 percent of the wireless subscribers left their cell phone chargers plugged into a wall for a year, their phones would draw enough electricity to power 24,000 homes for a year, or brew 3 to 4 million cups of coffee each day.
The wireless operator wouldn't specify which of its phone will use the Zero charger. But spokeswoman Jeannie Hornung said it will be available for AT&T's "most popular devices." Judging from the picture AT&T provided, it will work with at least some BlackBerry phones. And the USB interface could mean that it will be compatible with the Apple iPhone. Details about the phones that can use the charger will be available closer to the launch of the product, Hornung said.
The new Zero Charger can also help environmentally-conscious wireless users stay green by reducing the number of cell phone chargers that eventually get thrown away.… Read more