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Powering your iPad costs $1.36 per year

And other wacky stats from wooly electro-boffins

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If you charge your fully depleted iPad every other day, it'll cost you a buck thirty-six per year, according to a just-released study by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California.

"At less than a penny per charge these findings bring new meaning to the adage, 'A penny for your thoughts'," said the EPRI's veep for power delivery and utilization Mark McGranaghan when announcing the results.

We at The Reg are as fond of wacky stats as anyone, but this one – along with the EPRI's assertion that a quadrupling of iPad sales in two years would require the energy generated by three 250-megawatt power plants – is wackier than most.

Why exactly $1.36, for example? To their credit, the EPRI notes that "Costs may vary depending on what region that a consumer resides and the price of electricity in a particular location," but, as any reasonably savvy middle-schooler might say, "Well, duh..."

On more solid ground, perhaps, are the EPRI's claims that an iPad being fully charged every other day consumes under 12kWh per year, and that a 60-watt compact-fluorescent lightbulb eats up just a bit more power – about 14kWh – and costs $1.61 annually. But is that bulb burning 24/7? The oracle is silent.

EPRI also notes that 42-inch plasma-screen TVs suck up 358kWh during the same period – that's 358, not 357 or 359, mind you – and "laptop PCs" consume 72.3kWh annually, costing $8.31.

We contacted the EPRI to ask, among other things, just what they mean by "laptop PCs" – that is, do their figures represent, say, an entry-level Apple MacBook Air or a tricked-out Alienware M18x – but they hadn't responded by the time we clicked the Publish button for this article.

According to the report, an iPhone 3G's yearly 2.2kWh power will cost you a quarter per year. The EPRI doesn't provide figures for an iPhone 4 or 4S, however. Perhaps those models were sold out at the West Town Mall Apple retail store in Knoxville, Tennessee, the town that's home to the EPRI's power utilization laboratory where the tests were conducted. ®

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