November 05, 2009
| by Steven Castle
The California Energy Commission (CEC) delayed a vote on setting new energy-efficiency standards for TVs in the state, planning to now address the issue at its Nov. 18 business meeting.
The Commission is considering proposed sales restriction for energy-hogging TVs that will be imposed in two tiers, in January 2011 and January 2013, though the first phase of restrictions will not include TVs larger than 58 inches.
Click here to read the proposed energy requirements.
The proposal has generated much controversy, pitting the environmental advocates against business trade groups such as the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The CEC says the sales restrictions will save California residents an average of $30.24 per TV in the first year and a total of $912.1 million per year in electric bills.
The CEC also claims the restrictions will take away the need for more power plants and estimates greenhouse gas reductions of 43 percent per million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 3.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
The CEA claims the restrictions will eliminate the sale of many plasma and large-screen LCD TVs and stifle innovation. The CEA has also claimed the restrictions would cost California residents money and result in job losses in TV manufacturing and related fields.
Whether the sales restrictions would eliminate plasmas and some LCDs from the California market remains to be seen. The second tier of proposed standards, to go into effect in 2013, would closely match voluntary Energy Star levels that go into effect in 2010. Another tier of Energy Star standards due in 2012 looks to be more strict than the California standards. The difference, however, is that Energy Star is a voluntary program and the proposal in California is an actual sales restriction on sets that don’t meet the standards.
In speaking before the CEC commissioners, the CEC’s Valerie Hall said the staff received a number of submissions on Nov. 2, the deadline for public comment, and wanted more time to give each one careful consideration. “We are not reopening the public [comment] on this,” she said. “This additional time gives the staff more time to consider all the comments submitted.”
The CEA made several presentations to the CEC at a public forum on Oct. 13, 2009, though the commissioners did not seem moved by the CEA’s arguments.
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