Who Knew It Only Costs $1.36 To Charge An iPad For A Whole Year?

When it comes to bang for the bucks you spend on electricity, it seems some devices run pretty darn cheap — in fact, it costs more to buy say, your morning muffin than to charge an iPad for a whole year.

Juicing up your iPad for 12 months will only run you about $1.61, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a non-profit research and development group funded by electric utilities. A desktop PC eats up $28.12 and a refrigerator costs $65.72 in the U.S. to power up for an entire year.

The group studied the iPad’s power consumption to try and figure out what upcoming devices will do to the country’s electricity use. Even if the number of iPads triples from the 67 million we have today, they’d use the electricity from one small power plant operating at full strength.

The more people use iPads and other tablets instead of desktop PCs for all their entertainment needs, from TV watching to video games, we could possibly cut down on our overall power consumption. EPRI researchers want to see if using more tablets is going to put a drain on our power, if enough people buy them, or instead lower our consumption.

Residential power demand is expected to fall for the third straight year, as the weak economy is keeping us in smaller houses or hanging out and sharing power with others. Another factor — our devices and home appliances have also gotten much more efficient, with things like fridges using less than a quarter of the power they did a generation ago.

And if you really want to spend less? EPRI says an iPhone 4 only costs $0.38 per year to run.

$1.36: What it costs to charge iPad for a year [Associated Press]