Calif. Commission Proposes TV Energy Standards

Officials in California are considering tougher energy efficiency standards for new, big-screen television sets. Big screen and high definition TV's draw much more electricity than the old, smaller screen, analog sets.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Regulators in California are taking aim at all those big flat screen TVs that people have been snapping up in recent years. The televisions use a lot of electricity, so now California's Energy Commission has proposed new TV energy efficiency standards. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN: There are an estimated 35 million TV sets in California and the State Energy Commission estimates that those TVs and things consumers plug into them account for about 10 percent of the electricity used in a home. That figure could climb as people upgrade to larger screens and HDTVs, which consume more energy. The Energy Commission's proposal would impose tougher energy standards on TV sets sold beginning in 2011. The agency's Adam Gottlieb says the price of the TVs shouldn't increase, but consumers would reap savings on their electric bill.

Mr. ADAM GOTTLIEB (California Energy Commission): We are looking at putting these regulations into place to save Californians between $50 and $250 on their television over the life of the television. So if you have more than one TV in your home, you're looking at a significance savings.

KAUFMAN: While the proposal has the support of some TV makers and the state's largest electric utilities, the Consumer Electronics Association says the proposed standards are unnecessary and unwise and could prompt retailers to cut back on merchandise, reducing the number of jobs. Moreover, the association's Doug Johnson says Americans are already choosing new TVs that meet EPA's voluntary Energy Star standards.

Mr. DOUG JOHNSON (Consumer Electronics Association): That's great for energy savings. It's a testament to competitiveness. So what we have with Energy Star really is a well-functioning government program.

KAUFMAN: The California proposal will be voted on this summer.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.