California Seeks to Curb Appetite of Power-Hungry TVs (Apr. 15, 2009) — It is estimated that televisions and their electronic accessories account for 10 percent of the electricity used in an average household, California’s energy wardens want to put new flat-panel models on a diet.

samsung-flat-tvsThe state’s energy commission has proposed new efficiency standards that would require televisions sold in California to use 50 percent less energy by 2013, affecting televisions manufactured from January 2011 onward.

The Consumer Electronics Association is resisting the new standards, arguing that the industry could achieve the energy savings without the rules.

“Consumers could adjust brightness and contrast settings, left at top levels by factories, and reduce the energy consumed by as much as 25 percent. There are much more savings to be had by what we’re suggesting as alternatives,” said Douglas Johnson, senior director of technology policy for the industry group.

But Adam Gottlieb, a spokesman for the California Energy Commission, emphasized that the new standards would not constitute a ban. “You’re still able to buy the 60-inch that you want,” Gottlieb said, “and it’s not affecting what’s in your house.” He added that the proposed efficiency standards were “technically feasible and cost-effective.”

Meanwhile, households that have held on to their cathode-ray-tube sets can rest easy knowing that those models are the most energy-efficient TVs around.

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