VIEWS: Big Televisions – Big Waste of Energy

Dispatch from SSC Intern Lila Holzman

According to the state of California, big-screen TVs are a big waste of energy.  More and more consumers have been purchasing large, flat-screens to compliment their home theaters.  But sets over 40 inches that use plasma or liquid crystal technology consume more electricity than you might think … at least three times the amount that old-fashioned models consume!

California currently imports 30% of its electricity to meet its large demand.  It has proven itself a leader in implementing stringent energy standards, but further conservation is crucial to ensure that the state will continue to have enough energy to go around.

On Friday, September 18 the California Energy Commission released new standards for televisions that are up to 58 inches.  There is now a 45-day public commenting period, and the measure is expected to go through by November.  The innovative standards will be put into effect beginning in 2011, with stricter efficiency rules to follow in 2013.

Ideally, these new regulations will save Californians’ $30 per TV set per year.  This works out to total state electricity savings of a whopping $8.1 billion after just 10 years.

Not everyone is excited about the proposal though. Some industry groups are concerned that it will result in higher TV prices and even the loss of jobs. TV buyers may choose to buy banned models from other states, taking away from California sales tax and denying local retailers of business.

Nevertheless, supporters of this initiative contend that technological innovations can be developed in the near future to meet this challenge.  The commission’s Chairwoman Karen Douglas further elaborates on the need for such measures by emphasizing that, “Increased efficiency is the most cost-effective way of meeting our renewable-energy goals.”

Click here to learn more!