California Initiative Promises Greener TV Displays

Power consumption limits could cut worldwide LCD TV energy cost in half by 2013, if mandated globally.
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According to iSuppli, an El Segundo, Calif-based group that tracks trends in electronic device developments, the recent California television receiver power consumption limits could cut worldwide LCD TV energy cost in half by 2013, if mandated globally.

The group says that if all of the 200 million LCD sets that are expected to be shipped for market in 2013 were to be compliant with the California Energy Commission (CEC) power consumption figures, a total of 64.4 billion kWh would be used, instead of the projected 126.8 billion kWh.

“Due to sweeping changes in the television technology that have occurred during the past five or six years--changes which show no sign of slowing down--the problem of energy efficiency has come become a paramount consideration,” said Randy Lawson, iSuppli’s senior analyst for display electronics. “The once-dominant CRT television set--with its much smaller average screen size and lower brightness--consumed much less power per year than today’s bright high-definition (HD) flat-panel sets.”

The CEC’s limitation on TV power consumption has provoked a negative reaction from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), however. That group has stated that the California regulations will result in higher television costs for viewers, loss of jobs in California and a loss of tax revenue for the state, as consumers might be driven to purchase television receivers from outside the state.

“While the CEA has legitimate concerns, the CEC regulations simply follow suit with the EPA’s Energy Star 3.0 and 4.0 guidelines,” Lawson said. “Television makers already have been working to cut the power consumption of their products so they can earn the coveted Energy Star label. Furthermore, iSuppli’s research indicates that consumers increasingly are aware of power consumption issues, and are likely to gravitate toward sets that use less electricity.”