Is Your Flat-Panel TV Melting the Polar Ice Caps?

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Electronics enthusiasts can help save these polar bears by monitoring their energy usage, according to an environmental watchdog.

An environmental watchdog indirectly claims that A/V junkies can save the earth.


May. 14, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

How’s this for irony? The cute polar bears on that TV might be killed by the flat-panel display industry.

OK, maybe that’s not exactly what Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) claims but … it is, sort of. 

The agency estimates that new electronic gadgets, including flat-panel TVs, will triple their energy consumption by 2030 to 1,700 terawatt hours. That’s about the equivalent of the United States and Japan’s total home electricity consumption, according to an Associated Press report.

The resultant surge in energy consumption could indirectly cause environmental issues, including the melting of the polar ice caps.

The IEA points its finger directly at consumer electronics, which is “the fastest growing [energy consumption] area and it’s the area with the least amount of [energy efficiency] policies in place,” according to Paul Waide, a senior policy analyst at the IEA.

Electronic gadgets already account for about 15 percent of household electric consumption, according to the IEA, but it says that figure is rising rapidly.

“This will jeopardize efforts to increase energy security and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases” blamed for global warming, the agency said.

TVs with increasingly bigger screens are a big part of the problem, according to the IEA. It estimates that the world will soon have 2 billion TVs in use.

The good news, according to the IEA, is that TV power consumption can be addressed.

The IEA says if consumers can regulate energy consumption of their TVs and other gadgets they can counter the energy consumption growth. 

Energy monitoring software, such as Agilewaves, which can display household energy usage on any computer or can be integrated into home control systems, have been shown to reduce home energy usage by as much as 20 percent.

According to the IEA, that just might help save this little guy ...

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