November 19, 2009
| by Steven Castle
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has vowed to pursue legal and legislation solutions to yesterday’s decision by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to impose energy-efficiency requirements on TVs sold in the state.
The standards require that new televisions sold in California consume 33 percent less electricity by 2011 and 49 percent less electricity by 2013. The standards affect only those TVs with a screen size 58 inches or smaller. For example, a 42-inch screen would consume 183 watts or less by 2011 and 115 watts or less by 2013. Go here to see a detailed list of the requirements.
“CEA is extremely disappointed in the CEC’s decision to regulate TV energy use,” says Jason Oxman, CEA’s senior vice president of Industry Affairs. “Simply put, this is bad policy—dangerous for the California economy, dangerous for technology innovation and dangerous for consumer freedom. Instead of allowing customers to choose the products they want, the Commission has decided to impose arbitrary standards that will hamper innovation and limit consumer choice. It will result in higher prices for consumers, job losses for Californians, and lost tax revenue for the state.”
Though the CEC says the TV requirements will save California consumers energy and money, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electrical generation, the CEA claims the regulations will have a potentially devastating impact on commerce, costing California more than 4,000 jobs and approximately $46.8 million in tax revenue. In addition, the CEA claims the data on which the CEC based its decision was flawed and the projected energy savings overstated.
“The CEC’s actions over the past year demonstrate that this regulatory process is broken,” Oxman states. “The commissioners repeatedly rebuffed attempts from the CE industry to provide input or correct the litany of errors and flawed assumptions upon which these misguided regulations are based.”
Several representatives from the CEA spoke out against the proposed regulations during an Oct. 13 public hearing that was at times contentious, with a CEC commissioner at one point chiding the trade organization for “seemingly contradictory” statements and for failing up to that time to submit proof of its claims to the CEC during the public comment period. The CEA later submitted 91 pages of objections to the proposal, minutes before the deadline for public comment and effectively postponing a Nov. 4 vote the CEC had planned on the matter.
“The real winners of these new TV energy efficiencies are California consumers who will be saving billions of dollars and conserving energy while preserving their choice to buy any size or type of TV,” says CEC Chairman Karen Douglas. “Californians buy four million televisions each year and they deserve the most energy efficient models available.”
“We will continue to pursue legislative and legal solutions to ensure that California citizens will not suffer the consequences of this misguided policy,” states the CEA in a prepared statement. A CEA representative said it was too early to tell precisely what action the CEA will take.
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