The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently adopted a new efficiency standard for trickle chargers sold in California. The new rules prohibit battery chargers from charging continuously 24 hours a day. The standard applies on all chargers used to charge batteries for electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones and, of course, two way radios.
According to the CEC, an esitmated 170 million chargers are in use in households within the state. The CEC expects the new rules to save over 2,000 gigawatt hours annually, saving Californians over $300 million per year in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by about 1 million metric tons.
California required chargers for consumer walkie talkies to comply with the new standard by February 1, 2013. Commercial chargers for business radios are required to be in compliance by January 1, 2017.
At least one manufacturer has already responded to the new rules. Icom announced in February that it has modified the chargers for its consumer radios to include timers designed to turn off the chargers after 24 hours. The affected chargers include those for Icom Amateur, Receiver and Marine products. The timers are designed to turn off the chargers after 24 hours.