This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 02, 2009

California Approves New Energy Efficiency Standards for Televisions

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved the nation's first energy efficiency standards for televisions on November 18. When these standards take effect in 2011, new televisions sold in California will be the most energy efficient in the nation. After ten years, the CEC estimates the regulations will save $8.1 billion in energy costs, while avoiding enough energy use to power 864,000 single-family homes. The Pacific Gas & Electric Company estimates that over the course of a decade, the standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by three million metric tons. In a typical California home, televisions and related accessories currently account for about 10% of the electricity consumption.

The technology-neutral standards mandate that new televisions sold in California should consume 33% less electricity by 2011 and 49% less electricity by 2013. The standards affect only those televisions with a screen size of 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. The CEC noted that more than 1,000 TV models on the market today already meet the 2011 standards and cost no more than less efficient sets. The regulations will not affect existing televisions that consumers already own or the televisions currently on retail store shelves. Stores will not be prohibited from selling their existing stock of older televisions after the standards go into effect. See the CEC press release and the television efficiency regulations.