Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries can now be used for almost any purpose except certain sensitive electronic devices or situations where longevity is critical, such as emergency equipment. The technology has improved; our new rechargeable batteries report identifies best-performing rechargeables  for AAA, AA, and D-sizes.

rechargeable NiMH batteries


When to Use

Can replace alkaline batteries for almost any purpose, including low-drain devices (e.g., remote controls, flashlights) and high-drain electronic devices (e.g., digital cameras). Not for equipment that needs a voltage higher than 1.2V, or for emergency equipment (e.g., medical devices). Previous generations of NiMH rechargeables were less ideal for very low-drain devices like clocks; however, the new low self-discharge batteries have improved dramatically.


Consumer, Industrial

Cost Savings

Relative costs of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries

Exact cost comparisons between alkaline single-use batteries and NiMH rechargeable batteries are extremely challenging because of the range of variables involved. However, the State of Missouri Recycling Program makes the following cost estimates for AA batteries:

Assumptions (from state contract prices):

$1.52/4 pack for alkaline batteries
$14.50 for 2 4-packs of rechargeable NiMH batteries (1 set in use, 1 recharging), $30.46 for charger

Total costs:

300 uses: $456 for non-rechargeable, $44.96 for rechargeable
1000 uses: $1,520 for nonrechargeable, $44.96 for rechargeable

Info on this product category: Batteries

Why Go Green

Waste impacts

All used batteries - whether rechargeable or not - must be recycled, not disposed in the trash. Because one rechargeable battery can replace hundreds of non-rechargeables, the waste impact is reduced dramatically. Older nickel-cadmium rechargeables - still sometimes found in power tools - have considerably more toxic heavy metals.


Criteria for Batteries

Specifications for AA Rechargeable Batteries

  • Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) chemistry
  • Minimum 2000 mAh capacity
  • Low self-discharge (LSD): Maintains a minimum of 80% capacity after 1 year in storage, or 75% after 3 years in storage

Specifications for AAA Rechargeable Batteries

  • Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) chemistry
  • Minimum 800 mAh capacity
  • Low Self-Discharge: Maintains a minimum of 80% capacity after 1 year storage, or 75% after 3 years storage

Specifications for D Rechargeable Batteries

  • NiMH chemistry
  • Minimum 8000 mAh capacity
  • Low Self-Discharge: Maintains a minimum of 80% capacity after 1 year in storage, or 75% after 3 years in storage

Non-rechargeable alkaline batteries are acceptable for precision electronic equipment that is voltage sensitive, for emergency use equipment, or for other applications requiring longevity and slow power drain. 

Last updated

Last updated: 
July 1, 2016


Charging Ahead: How to Find Powerful Rechargeable Batteries that Go On and On. 2016. A Report by the Responsible Purchasing Network to the San Francisco Department of the Environment recommending specifications for AA, AAA and D-sized rechargeable batteries for San Francisco’s SF Approved Program.

View the report and the spreadsheet summary of products (Appendix C).



Guide for City Staff

Citywide Contract

Special Purchasing Instructions

Login to Staples. (Can't login? Email They buy these NiMH AAA and AA rechargeables.

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Product Reviews

great rechargeables

Average: 4 (1 vote)

Product is good except we did not have a lot purchase. Still needs to educated staffs not to throw away Rechargeable.

March 31, 2014

EBL brand NiMh batteries

Average: 5 (1 vote)

I have over 100 towel dispensers at City Hall. It's been a month and I have not had to replace or re-charge them yet on my dispensers, saving a lot labor and time from my staff. I got them from the City approved vendor, 415.295.6254.

April 19, 2017