iPad portFact of the day: Apple's iPad only costs a mere $1.36 to charge each year. According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the tablet consumes just 12 kWh a year for users that reach a full charge every other day. The central point, as it were, to EPRI's findings? Energy requirements are changing thick and fast.

To get some context, a 42-inch plasma TV consumer 358 kWh of electricity a year, EPRI said. Or, more closely, a laptop PC (unspecified by EPRI) will consume 72.3 kWh of electricity each year and cost $8.31. Apple's iPhone 3G consumes 2.2 kWh, or $.25 annually.

"As information technologies continue to change rapidly we see important implications for energy consumption," said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization at EPRI.

Of course, consumer actions vary, meaning results will depend on how much video, gaming and Web browsing one does. In addition, battery technology and features are changing all the time, so one would assume that a device's footprint, at least charging it, will continue to get better, according to EPRI.

[via CNET, EPRI]