Old televisions

It’s official! Californians will enjoy more energy-efficient TVs, thanks to the California Energy Commission, which voted to require higher energy efficiency standards for high-definition TVs. According to the L.A. Times:

Any increase in the cost of TVs would be offset by savings in owners’ electric bills, the commission said. More efficient models are expected to shave about $30 a year off owners’ electric bills and collectively save Californians about $8 billion in energy costs by 2021.
Trade groups opposed the measure saying “regulations would lead to higher prices, lost retail jobs and a decline in state tax revenue.” However, Cali has a long history of enacting tougher energy efficiency regulations on refrigerator and other appliances — and the dire industry predictions in those instances haven’t become reality.

Instead, we’ got more efficient machines that saved us money — and kept us from building unnecessary coal power plants. As Ronald Brownstein’s feature “The California Experiment” in The Atlantic recently pointed out, Cali’s a leader in energy efficiency — partly because of rules like this new eco-TV mandate:

In 1977 the commission approved aggressive efficiency standards not only for refrigerators and freezers but also for air conditioners…. In the next decade, the Energy Commission followed with efficiency standards for furnaces, dryers, swimming-pool heaters, household cooking appliances, heat pumps, showerheads, and fluorescent-lamp ballasts, among other products. Those rules became models for use in other states and, eventually, for federal appliance standards. In 1978, using a pioneering computer program developed by Rosenfeld and his colleagues, the Energy Commission opened another front by approving more-sophisticated energy-efficiency standards for new buildings. Other states, and even other countries, followed.
California’s once again the first state to come up with energy efficient standards for TVs. Regulations won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2011, when new hi-def TVs of up to 58 inches will need to cut electricity used by a third. By Jan. 1, 2013, expect TVs to be twice as energy-efficient as they are today.

Earlier on MNN:
Which HDTVs use the least energy?
Energy efficiency: analog vs. digital
Warning: Don’t trash that analog TV

Photo by David J