Tired of having so many chargers to power devices? Congress is too

Lawmakers write to Department of Commerce encouraging European-style mandates
Posted at 3:00 AM, Aug 08, 2022

WASHINGTON — How many different cell phone charges does your family own? Between iPhones and androids, laptops and headphones the drawer can quickly fill up.

All that mess and all that money being spent on chargers is attracting the attention of some lawmakers -- who say it's time to create some standards in the U.S.

In a letter sent to the Secretary of Commerce recently, Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey asked the Department of Commerce to act.

"In our increasingly digital society, consumers frequently must pay for new specialized charging equipment," the lawmakers write.

"This is not merely an annoyance; it can be a financial burden. The average consumer owns approximately three mobile phone chargers, and around 40 percent of consumers report that, on at least one occasion, they 'could not charge their mobile phone because available chargers were incompatible.'"

Of course, forcing Apple, Google or other tech companies in Silicon Valley to do something is not easy. However, it is happening in Europe.

The EU recently announced by 2024, all new phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, keyboards and other devices will need USB-C charging ports.

By 2026, the law will apply to laptops. The United States, though, is not Europe – and for the moment, it's unclear if the Biden administration will issue an executive order on this or wait for Congress to pass a new law perhaps.

So far, no vote is planned.