New energy efficiency rules will require plasmas to use one-third less electricity in California after 2010.
In a 5-0 vote, The California Energy Commission today approved the country’s first efficiency regulations for TVs of up to 58 inches. The new Appliance Efficiency Regulations will require new televisions sold in California to consume 33 percent less electricity by 2011 and 49 percent less electricity by 2013.
The average plasma TV uses three-times as much energy as a traditional set. The commission estimates that switching to more efficient TVs will save an average of $30 per set per year and $8.1 billion in electricity bills statewide over the first decade. The regulations go into place for televisions sold after Jan. 1, 2011, and will reflect similar regulations the state has put on refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other household appliances since the 1970s.
"The real winners of these new TV energy efficiencies are California consumers who will be saving billions of dollars and conserving energy while preserving their choice to buy any size or type of TV," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas.
Televisions now account for ten percent of the average California home's electricity consumption.
"Californians buy four million televisions each year and they deserve the most energy efficient models available," said Douglas.
While some trade groups cried foul and said the new rules would stifle innovation and interfere with a market process that is already driving increases in efficiency, California-based Vizio, perhaps the most successful LCD and plasma TV maker in the U.S. told state regulators they would have no problem meeting the new standards by 2011.
More than 1,000 TV models on the market today already meet the 2011 standards and according to the California Energy Commission, cost no more than less-efficient sets.
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