November 01, 2008 by Steven Castle
It’s finally here, and I’m not talking about Election Day. Starting Nov. 1, TVs bearing the Energy Star logo have to meet stricter energy-efficiency standards that include “on mode.” That means they must meet lower power requirements while active, and not just on “standby” mode, commonly known as “off.”
While on, a 42-inch Energy Star–rated HDTV must now come in at 208 watts or less, while a 50-inch model must use 318 watts or less. (Standard-definition TVs with 480i resolution must consume even less power.)
So how do you know which TVs will meet the new Energy Star 3.0 spec? You can go to this Energy Star page that highlights the TVs that have already qualified. It is updated regularly.
The situation may be a bit more confusing in retail outlets, because TVs that meet only the old Energy Star specification (for using 1 watt or under in standby) might still be on display. “Some products that only meet [the old spec] will remain on the shelf for a short while after Nov. 1, as we do not ask manufacturers to peel off or cover labels on products already in the distribution channel when a spec changes,” says Katharine Kaplan of the EPA’s Energy Star program.
There will be plenty of TVs that meet the new energy-efficient spec. Toshiba and Sharp have shown a commitment to energy efficiency in TVs. Panasonicsays all it’s plasma TVs will be meet the new Energy Star spec as well. And Mitsubishi is rolling out its much anticipated LaserVue TV that it says uses far less power than LCDs and plasmas.
Some LCD TVs also feature energy-efficient LED backlightsin place of fluorescent ones.
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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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