You have seen then advertised on television, radio, and the internet, but are rechargeable batteries really a better investment compared to traditional disposable batteries? The answer depends on several factors that start with how often you use batteries to power your devices.
Rechargeable batteries are worth it if you are using them for power devices that consume a lot of energy. However, if you are using rechargeable batteries for power devices that do not use a lot of energy, they not cost-effective.
Examples of devices that uses very little power:
- Wall clocks
- Smoke detectors
- Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
These devices are not worth paying the extra money for rechargeable batteries. This is because it would take several years before you would see any savings when using rechargeable batteries for these devices.
However, if you are using more power-hungry devices that run out of power in one to two months for example, then rechargeable batteries make sense. When you add in the extra cost of the batteries themselves along with the charger, they are best used for devices that eat up the power quickly.
Otherwise, you are better off sticking to disposable batteries for devices that take years to run down. After all, you might replace the wall clock or thermostat before you replace the battery.
What follows are the average cost of household rechargeable batteries, including chargers. The average cost of disposable batteries. The longevity of rechargeable batteries. If they are worth the extra cost. And whether they are worth buying.
Pros & Cons of Rechargeable Batteries
The advantages of rechargeable batteries are mostly focused on their ability to be recharged. This is the main reason why you should purchase them. Their rechargeability saves you money in the long run if you buy a considerable number of disposable batteries each year.
What can be said about rechargeable batteries is that most people who use them are satisfied with the results. Even if they do not get the most out of the recharging ability, there is a peace of mind that comes with knowing you are not disposing batteries on a regular basis.
What is Average Cost of Rechargeable Batteries?
The average cost of rechargable batteries is around $10 for a 4 pack AA batteries, while it is around $9 for a 4 pack of AAA batteries. The average cost will depend on the type and number of batteries that your purchase.
The typical household battery is divided into the following categories:
- 9 Volt
The AA battery is the most common of all household batteries, followed by the AAA. Both types of batteries are used to charge a myriad of devices from a wireless mouse to remote controls to wall clocks and so much more.
C and D batteries are most often used to power flashlights and other larger devices that require more power. 9-volt batteries are also mostly used to charge larger devices but are different in how they connect compared to the other batteries.
You can find rechargeable versions of all batteries available at your local and online retail stores. In the US, the three largest and most recognizable companies that produce household batteries are Energizer, Rayovac, and Duracell. All three companies produce both disposable and rechargeable batteries.
There is a myriad of smaller companies that also produce batteries. These are usually cheaper, lower-quality batteries that are connected to the stores themselves. In other words, these are white label companies that use generic versions of larger brands, but have their own name attached instead. For this article, the top three brands will be used for the sake of clarity.
The prices will vary depending on the store in which the batteries were purchased, but these are the typical prices for AA batteries.
- Energizer AA (Pack of 4): Standard: $6.29 – Rechargeable: $10.96
- Duracell AA (Pack of 4): Standard: $7.45 – Rechargeable: $11.55
- Rayovac AA (Pack of 4: Standard: $4.32 – Rechargeable: $7.97
AAA batteries, despite being smaller, are similarly priced to AA batteries.
- Energizer AAA (Pack of 4): Standard: $5.56 – Rechargeable: $10.96
- Duracell AAA (Pack of 4): Standard: $5.59 – Rechargeable: $8.90
- Rayovac AAA (Pack of 4): Standard: $7.76 – Rechargeable: $7.75
C, D, and 9-volt batteries are only used a fraction of the time compared to AA and AAA batteries. So much so that for most people it is often not worth recharging them at all.
As you can see, the prices of rechargeable and standard batteries can vary a little or a lot depending on the store and manufacturer. However, you will need a charger to make the rechargeable batteries worthwhile.
Average Price for a Rechargeable Battery Charger
The average price for a rechargeable battery charger is around $15-$20 on Amazon. You can find generic brands rechargeable battery chargers for under $15, while brand name chargers like Energizer can cost up to $40.
You can find chargers from as low as $10 to as high as $40 on Amazon, so taking the time to research and find a happy medium between price and quality is important. You’re making an investment with rechargeable batteries, so you want to make sure they last as long as possible.Aug 24, 2020
The initial cost of your investment into rechargeable batteries will depend on the type of charger you purchase. The price of chargers will vary considerably based on the number and different types of batteries that it can recharge. The more types of batteries you want to charge, the higher the price of the charge.
It should be noted that AA and AAA batteries will often use the same charger. This is an important point when purchasing rechargeable batteries. Although prices vary, a typical cost for a charger that can recharge AA and AAA batteries only ranges from $15 to $30 on average. Quite often, such chargers are paired with at least four rechargeable AA or AAA batteries which can help save you money.
Universal rechargers that can recharge all five basic household battery types are usually more expensive. Expect to pay from $60 to $80 or more for such chargers. This type of universal charger is usually sold without rechargeable batteries and is available separately. Plus, finding chargers that only charge C or D or 9-volt are rare and usually not available.
How Much Can You Save With Rechargeable Batteries?
If you use batteries for at least two years, you can save around 45% on the batteries per year if you use rechargeable batteries instead of regular batteries.
For an Example, a family spends $77 per year on disposable household batteries. To purchase the equivalent rechargeable batteries and charger, they would spend about $149 dollars.
However, for the second year the same $77 is spent on disposable batteries, the only cost that is incurred to the rechargeable batteries is the electricity bill that reflects the power used to recharge them. For most households, the cost of recharging is negligible and often 25 cents or less. That means after two years, you would save approximately $5 when using rechargeable batteries instead of purchasing disposable versions.
Add in a third year, and you save $77 additional dollars. Given that you will have to replace the rechargeable batteries at some point, you are still saving a considerable amount over three to seven years given the lifespan of rechargeable batteries.
How Long do Rechargeable Batteries Last?
The typical range of life expectancy is anywhere from two to seven years. This means that with the proper care, a standard rechargeable battery will last at least two years. They may last considerably longer depending on their type, how often they are used, and the environmental conditions.
When compared to a disposable battery, a rechargeable battery lasts considerably longer assuming that the batteries are being used continually. For example, if you use an AA battery to run a clock, both batteries will run out of energy at roughly the same time. However, a rechargeable battery can be recharged numerous times. While a disposable battery is now useless and should be thrown away.
However, the shelf life of a disposable battery can be upwards of ten years. This means that if you are only using batteries occasionally to power items, disposable batteries may be a good choice since they can last for a long time before being used.
Are Rechargeable Batteries Worth It?
If you use devices that consume a considerable amount of power, rechargeable batteires are worth it. You should purchase rechargeable batteries as the savings will be noticed in a short time. If you are operating devices that may last for years, then the rechargeable batteries are not worth it.
The answer will depend entirely on how fast you go through disposable batteries. You should look at how many you purchase every year and then compare it to the price of purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger which is on average double the initial price.
Eventually, the rechargeable batteries will cost you less, but it may take several years before you really see the difference. Plus, you will need to replace your rechargeable batteries every so often because they will build up a resistance to charging over time.