Calif. adopts TV efficiency rule
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Power-hungry TVs will be banned from store shelves in California after state regulators yesterday adopted a first-in-the-nation mandate to reduce electricity demand.
On a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission required all new televisions up to 58 inches to be more energy-efficient, beginning in 2011. The requirement will be tougher in 2013, with only one-quarter of all TVs currently on the market meeting that standard.
The commission estimates that TVs account for about 10 percent of a home’s electricity use. The concern is that the energy draw will rise by up to 8 percent a year as consumers buy larger televisions, add more to their homes, and watch them longer. Commissioners said energy-efficiency standards are the cheapest and easiest way to save electricity.
TVs larger than 58 inches, which account for no more than 3 percent of the market, would not be covered by the rule, a concession to independent retailers that sell high-end home-theater TVs. The commission is expected to regulate them in the future.
Environmental groups supported the tougher standards and hope they will prompt manufacturers to make new energy-efficient models for the rest of the nation.
Some manufacturers said implementing a power standard will limit consumer choice and harm California retailers.