Big Screens Omitted from Proposed Calif. TV Ban
But TVs larger than 58 inches may have to meet energy efficiency standards later.
Credit: CEC
September 21, 2009 by Steven Castle

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has decided not to propose restricting the sale of TVs with screen sizes larger than 58 inches that do not meet energy efficiency standards.

The CEC’s proposal to restrict the sale of TVs that don’t meet energy efficiency standards has been met with resistance from groups that say the move will effectively ban the sale of most big-screen and plasma-based TVs.

The final proposal from the CEC has been posted and omits sales restrictions of televisions with screens in excess of 1,400 square inches (58 diagonal inches)—at least in the first phase of restrictions proposed to go into effect in January 2011. The CEC is reserving the right to restrict the sale of large TVs that don’t meet energy standards in the future, however. “For televisions in excess of 1,400 square inches, the Energy Commission may undertake a Phase 2 of this rulemaking in order to set efficiency standards for such televisions,” the CEC states in its notice of proposed action.

Under the CEC’s proposal, a second phase of standards would go into effect in January 1, 2013. Both tiers of standards would only affect TVs sold after those dates and not before. TVs with screen sizes under 58 inches, or 1,400 square inches, would still be required to meet energy efficiency standards set for both tiers.

The Energy Commission is also proposing to require that televisions have a minimum specified ratio between the luminance in retail and home brightness level settings. In addition, the Energy Commission is proposing that televisions must automatically enter a standby mode after a maximum of 15 minutes without signal input.

The CEC will likely vote in November on enacting the proposals, and hearings must be held prior to the CEC vote.

Audio for the October 13 and November 4 public hearings will be broadcast over the Internet. The CEC requests written comments to be considered at the hearings be submitted by October 12 and November 2, respectively. Details regarding the Energy Commission’s webcast can be found at

Written comments should be e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or mailed or delivered to the following address (e-mailing is preferred):

California Energy Commission
Docket No. 09-AAER-1C
Docket Unit
1516 Ninth Street, Mail Station 4
Sacramento, CA 95814-5504

All written comments must indicate Docket No. 09-AAER-1C. When comments are e-mailed on behalf of an organization, the comments should be a scanned copy of the original on the organization’s letterhead and include a signature of an authorized representative.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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