Telefonica O2 UK has announced the launch of an energy efficient universal mobile phone charger - the O2 Universal Charger.

Apparently the first product of its kind to be launched by a UK network, O2 says its Universal Charger is amongst the most energy efficient in the UK cutting energy consumption by as much as 70% compared to standard mobile phone chargers.

The charger has a power control system that considerably reduces charge to the mobile phone once the battery is fully charged, even if the charger is left switched on in a plug socket.

Heat loss from the charger has also been eliminated, another source of significant energy loss from standard mobile chargers.

The base unit of the Universal Charger will ship with inter-changeable leads, currently compatible with Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson devices and will be compatible with BlackBerry and iPhone in early 2009.

O2's Universal Charger is now available from all UK O2 stores priced £14.99 and will be available at a discounted price of £7.49 when purchased with an O2 handset until the end of the year.