In a study released by energy efficiency company Opower today, it appears that the annual energy cost for charging the iPhone 5 is just $0.41 on average (via MacRumors). Opower’s estimate assumes a full charge once per day at a U.S. average of 11.8 cents per kWh.
Of course every user’s actual cost would vary based on use and electricity rates in their areas, Opower’s estimate notes that iPhone 5, like most smartphones, uses significantly less energy than other entertainment devices. However, the massive popularity of Apple’s iOS devices results in significant energy demand in aggregate, claims the report.
“Even if we consider just the 170 million iPhone 5’s that are projected to be sold globally in the next year, their aggregate electricity requirements are nothing to sneeze at. The collective annual electricity consumption of the iPhone 5’s sold within 12 months will be equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 54,000 US households (roughly equivalent to the size of Cedar Rapids – the second largest city in Iowa). That’s just for one smartphone model over one year”.
The study notes that a shift from more traditional entertainment sources to smartphones can result in an overall benefit to energy consumption.