Photo by Sam Catchesides.
Penzo argues that rechargeable batteries aren't always cost effective, suggesting that you're better off knowing when to choose an alkaline over a rechargeable battery.
For example, it makes much more sense to use traditional alkaline batteries for low-draw devices like your wall clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats and remote controls because they lose power at a much slower rate than rechargeable batteries.
Penzo also says to go the alkaline route for your alarm clock back-up battery and emergency flashlights. As for rechargeables? He says that only "moderate to high current-draw devices that get at least moderate use" are worth using rechargeables—devices like video game controllers, for example. Last but not least, Penzo distinguishes among the four types of rechargeable batteries (NiMH, NiCad, Alkaline and Lithium Ion — the full post has a chart detailing each).
Check out the post for more details on when to choose each battery type, then browse our previous post on how to squeeze every ounce of power from your disposable batteries and top ten battery tips and hacks. If you're an experienced battery recharger, share your best practices in the comments.
Why Rechargeable Batteries Are Rarely Cost Effective [Len Penzo via Consumerist]