California Prepares to Limit TV Energy Use

California is one step closer to limiting the energy consumption of TV sets. The state’s energy regulator held a hearing this week on a proposed set of electricity use caps on TVs sold in the state. A vote by the California Energy Commission could be scheduled as soon as Nov. 4, the Los Angeles Times said.

The proposal would lower the energy use limit for stand-by mode from 3 watts per hour to 1 watt for screens that are 1,400 square inches and smaller. Active mode operation would be limited in two phases. As of Jan 1, 2011, TVs sold in California must consume no more than wattage equal to 20 percent of the screen area plus 32. By Jan. 1, 2013, the formula becomes wattage is limited to 12 percent of screen area times 25.

Representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association implored the CEC to allow the industry to adhere to voluntary standards. Its ranks were not solid, however, with Vizio, an Irvine, Calif., TV market, saying it would be able to comply with the new standards without substantial price hikes.