California Wants to Kick Energy-Sucking TVs Out of Stores

flat screen TV in store photo

Photo via cpchannel

California wants to get tough on power-hungry LCD and Plasma TVs, telling retailers that they can only sell energy efficient models starting in 2011.

But that push doesn't come without some shoving back from the TV makers.State regulators are starting to draft the first set of rules that would give energy sucking LCDs and Plasmas the boot from California retail stores. The regulations are expected to pass in mid-2009. The new rules would go a long way in helping consumers make energy efficient choices - they'd be the only choices available - and regulators feel only efficient TVs in homes would help relieve some of the strain on the power grid.

During a peak viewing time when most sets are on, such as the Super Bowl, TVs in the state collectively suck up the equivalent of 40% of the power generated by the San Onofre nuclear power station running at full capacity. Televisions account for about 10% of the average Californian's monthly household electricity bill.

Manufacturers say they're already hurrying to make energy efficient sets, and regulators should just be patient. But really, ripping the rug out from under them seems to be the only practical way to get them to rush to improve their products.

What's more, Rosenfeld [Energy Commission member Arthur Rosenfeld, an international leader for more than three decades in finding ways to save energy by boosting the efficiency of household appliances] noted that a number of television makers already produce models that meet the proposed commission efficiency standards and that 87% of current stock complies with the planned 2011 threshold. That deadline may be pushed back a bit if the industry needs a little more time "to get used to the standards," he said.

It's certainly a raging controversy right now, and we'll be following along as the debate and regulations unfold.

Via LA Times
More on LCD and Plasma TV Energy Issues:
Competition for LCD: Better Image, A Lot Less Power
Plasma TVs Suck (Electricity)
Energy Star Getting Tougher on TVs, Tests Them When Turned On
Flat Screen TVs Worse For Climate Than a Big Coal Plant

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