updated 05:35 pm EDT, Fri September 18, 2009
California to introduce efficiency laws for TVs
The California Energy Commission is considering new regulations that would effectively ban certain HDTVs from being sold in the state, the LA Times reports. The first-of-its-kind proposal for an efficiency standard is deemed necessary in order to offset the drain on the state's electric grid. If enacted, only energy-efficient models would be sold by 2011 and even tougher standards are due by 2013. Detailed specs for the standard are set for a release on Friday, with a 45-day period for public comment and approval expected sometime in November.
If approved, the proposal is said to reduce California's electricity costs by $8.1 billion in 10 years, mainly by reducing the need to build new powerplants.
The Consumer Electronics Association is against the proposed legislation, arguing that it would increase prices. The organization also fears job cuts and other negative effects to the state economy. As soon as the legislation is implemented, the report claims about one in four of all HDTVs in the state would have to be removed from store shelves. Customers could work around the restriction by purchasing banned TVs out-of-state.
Some flat-panel TV makers say they could easily meet the proposed standard, and it wouldn't mean higher prices to the customer. The rules would only affect sets sized at 58 inches or smaller, at least initially. Plasma TVs use significantly more power than LCDs and would be virtually eliminated from California stores under the new law, hindering any new technical developments.