An iPhone charging feature aimed at reducing a user’s carbon footprint is reportedly receiving criticism.
Clean Energy Charging is built into recent versions of the tech giant’s iOS 16 software. In October, Apple called on the global supply chain to decarbonize by 2030.
It was released in an October update, but has recently faced scrutiny.
“I turned off clean energy charging to increase my carbon footprint. I believe in feeding trees,” Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted in February.
According to The Washington Post, Clean Energy Charging is on by default – though it’s not the first time Apple has done that.
“I’m glad Apple is working on dynamic charging to shift to low carbon hours,” Tim Latimer, CEO of a geothermal power company called Fervo Energy, tweeted. “But the way they rolled it out isn’t great: limited awareness, default position is opted in.”
“We should demand better transparency and choice for clean energy solutions, or it’s going to backfire,” he said.
Apple says the phone can selectively charge when lower carbon-emission electricity is available. When the ability is enabled and the iPhone is connected to a charger, it gets a forecast of the carbon emissions in the local energy grid and uses it to charge the phone during times of cleaner energy production.
Clean Energy Charging is available only in the United States. The feature does not engage if charging habits are variable or the user is in a new location.
“Because of this and to get the carbon-emission forecast for your area, some location settings must be turned on for Clean Energy Charging to activate. Your iPhone doesn’t send any of the location information that it uses for this feature to Apple,” Apple said.
If a user needs to have a phone fully charged sooner, they can touch and hold the notification on the Lock Screen that says when the iPhone will be fully charged when using the setting and then hit Charge Now.
To turn off the feature entirely, go to Settings, click Battery, select Battery Health & Charging and turn off Clean Energy Charging.