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O2 Launches Energy Efficient Phone Charger

Gordon Kelly


O2 Launches Energy Efficient Phone Charger

Looking for another way to save a few quid and the planet at the same time? O2 has stirred its grey matter to come up with something which may start a whole new trend...

The 'O2 Universal Charger' is a mobile phone charger with a difference: it claims to reduce energy consumption by up to 70 per cent compared to standard device and how it goes about this is ingeniously simple.

Inside it contains a power control system which heavily reduces the charge sent to a handset once the battery becomes full, while heat loss from the charger has also been eliminated. How much could this all save in real terms? Well, O2 claims phones left on charge cost the UK up to £30m in wasted energy every year and - taking it one step further - says when tallied over the 73m mobile phones said to be use in on our expensive little island at any one time it could save the equivalent carbon emissions of over 36,000 cars per annum*

"People are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact products are having on the environment and with mobile the single biggest impact is the energy used in charging," sad O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne. "The O2 Universal Charger offers customers a simple yet effective way of reducing the environmental impact of their phones and reduces the waste associated with charger disposal."

Initially compatible with Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson devices, the Universal Charger will see iPhone and BlackBerry support early next year and is going to be offered at a discounted price of £7.49 when purchased with any O2 handset until 31 December. The typical RRP is £14.99 with additional connection cables available for £4.99.

All makes reasonable sense to me... then again I just want to make trees happy.


Press Release

*For the exacting out there, this was worked out as: total amount of carbon saved with Universal Charger over 12 months (1.496kg CO2 per phone) multiplied by total number of mobile phones in use in the UK (73m) = 109,208,000 kg CO2 / 1000 = 109,208 tonnes CO2 / 2.995 (tonnes of CO2 emitted for average annual mileage of car) = equivalent to annual carbon emissions of 36,463 cars driving 12,000 miles per year.


December 3, 2008, 12:06 pm

Seems like a good idea on the surface of it. But it hardly sounds like 'breakthrough' technology does it? Surely it would make more sense if mobile phone manudfacturers supplied something like this in the first place. It would be interesting to see how much energy it saves compared to how much it takes to manufacture, transport and sell the thing in the first place.

And from a consumer perspective you'll never save &#16314.99 worth of electricity if you leave your phone on charge from now to eternity.

mr dog

December 3, 2008, 2:51 pm

true, but with christmas coming soon, hopefully someone else can swallow the purchase price and leave you with all the savings


December 3, 2008, 3:50 pm

Those are some surprisingly large numbers. Good job, O2.


December 3, 2008, 6:13 pm

Actually trees need carbon dioxide to survive more than they need oxygen. I think reducing our CO2 emissions is more important for the prospering of our species, than it is important for trees; although obviously trees are important players in keeping us alive.


December 3, 2008, 6:16 pm

@Williamn - yep, but needless power consumption leads to more burning of fossil fuels plus more chopping down of trees ;)


December 4, 2008, 3:28 pm

A useful thing would be for phone makers and other gadget makers to agree on a standard connection for chargers - then they could cut costs and the environmental impact of sending out an individual charger with every phone or gadget. If you knew that you could buy a charger with full confidence that it would work with your new toy, and any other gadgets you have for the foreseeable future, then surely that would do more for the environment - as well as reducing the rats nest of cables that I'm sure most people like me have tucked in a drawer at home...


December 4, 2008, 5:19 pm

China, Japan and Korea have already had universal charger national standard in force. Why can't other countries follow? Manufacturers want to make money from other "proprietary" chargers.


December 4, 2008, 7:48 pm

Are all these 'universal national chargers' actually universal between these countries?

As the Nokia 8600 has micro USB charging, then the Chinese standard is micro USB?



December 4, 2008, 10:06 pm

@basicasic - true, but try put a value on that 'feel-good factor' haha!

@Williamn - i agree; but i think a greener solution is to launch a product (red) universal phone charger, with all proceeds going to tree-planting exercises and forest conservation.

(1)Helps the whole issue of wasted energy by introducing technological efficiency, (2)Reduces the amount of CO2 by reducing the chargers needed out there

(3)Increases the number of trees out there sucking up what CO2 we DO produce.

Damn i'm good - somebody hire me!


December 5, 2008, 2:59 am


The Chinese unified cell phone charger standard defines the charger part, not the cable between charger and phone. Connectors connect cell phone can be anything, like micro USB, mini USB or whatsoever.



December 5, 2008, 3:52 pm


Thanks, very interesting link {I'm sad like that ;-)}. Seems to be just a multi voltage USB charger {full fat USB connector} - nothing revolutionary e.g. similar to my iPhone charger. Think this will be useful as I have effectively done this myself - bought a griffin jolt {car cigar lighter USB charger - very light} and one proprietary cable for each device e.g. can now charge iPhone/Nokia/Clix and even an ancient Palm T3 from mains/car {in US/UK} without humfing too many 'airport security unfriendly' chargers/cables {same cable can also be used with laptops to charge and data sync}.

Hopefully, this will probably encourage device manufactures here to switch to mini/micro USB connectors on their gadgets to further reduce my cables - eventually replace with some form of induction charging {with bluetooth for data}?

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