IntroductionRecently LifeHacker posted a story about how rechargeable batteries saved them money. While this story seemed pretty good, I discovered this a long time ago, and so I wanted to post how rechargeable batteries work for me and how much I save a year.
I have a Boss
ME-70 and a Boss
BR-80 that I use with my guitar. This is a total of
eight batteries. My ME-70 can devour one set of AA batteries
in eight hours of use, which can mean either every week to every
other week depending on how long practice goes. I use
batteries with both so that I do not have to depend on the local
power grid (since I've experienced many problems, including lack
of grounds, different foreign power voltages, and lack of outlets
at the various churches that I have served at). I also
deided upon batteries because if my power plug on my ME-70 gets
unplugged or has problems, it can cause my ME-70 to restart.
How Alkalines PerformBased only on my ME-70, I woud be going through six AA alkaline batteries every other week. I had tried higher quality models before and noted that all this meant was that I paid more and got maybe one more practice or service out of them than normal, so basically 2.5 weeks out of them, so I'm going to estimate with standard alkalines because higher quality / life models didn't make enough difference to make them feasible. This means 156 batteries a year. If I bought in bulk off of Amazon, I would end up buying them in 34 packs at $17.99 each. Based on this, 4.5 of these a year was equivalent to $82.54 annually. I ended up going through a lot of alkalines, as you can tell.
How Rechargeables PerformI never bothered, as the story above, with the high quality, expensive rechargeables. I was at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, so my options were limited to what the AAFES BX sold. So therefore I ended up buying the equivalet of the Energizer Smart Charger for $19.12 and another pack of rechargeables and since that comes with four AA's, I'd buy the equivalent of another Pack of Two AA Rechargeables for $1.59, meaning startup cost was $20.71. Because these rechargeable batteries are not the highest quality, and the military lifestyle is a bit rugged, I'm going to assume for the sake of this that I ended up buying this same set annually. I would recharge these every week just because I like having a fresh set every week.
For me, rechargeables worked great and I saved
myself $61.83. This required me to remember, after
Sunday night, to put my batteries on the charger. I am going
to except the cost of power here because, per the above story, the
cost of power for the charger was negligible.
I highly recommend Energizer rechargeables. Sure, there may be better ones out there (see the above story) but for my uses they worked great. I now use them on everything in my house that requires batteries, from wireless mice to television remotes to my beard trimmer. Most electronic devices, in my experience, work just fine with rechargeables. A few of them, like the Boss BR-80 and an MP3 player I no longer own, have battery meters also have an option to tell the device that I'm using rechargeable batteries so that the power meter accurately reflects how much life is left.
Update 29 January 2014: Wii
I recently bought a Wii for me, the wife, and my two sons. As a result, I bought three extra Wii controllers. For some people, this would've required either buying two Nyko Charging Stations for the four total remotes, at a cost of around $35. Or, if using alkaline batteries, an extra eight (2 x $5 at Amazon) per month, so $120 a year. But with the rechargeables I already own, all I had to do was buy eight more (Amazon: Energizer 4 AA rechargeables), so I paid only $14 more.
The advantage here, however, over charging stations, is that I had seen my mom and dad use them, and when the batteries in the remote run out, you're done playing. This can be frustrating for children and adults alike. At this point you could pop in some alkaline batteries, but that doesn't save you money. These charging stations can also be difficult to use, i.e. ensuring the remote connects and stays connected. There are inductive-type charging stations, but these would