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Schwarzenegger set to ban 'energy-guzzling' big screen TVs in California



By David Gardner

Last updated at 5:53 PM on 15th October 2009



California is set to impose the world’s first ban on energy-guzzling big screen televisions.

Backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Energy Commission is cracking down on giant TVs over 40 inches, which can use as much as three times the power of smaller cathode ray sets.

Experts say the new energy efficiency regulations would reduce the state’s sky-high electricity bills by £5 billion over the next decade. That works out to be a saving of about £20 a set per year.


article-1220664-03E151C80000044D-303_468x315.jpg Energy guzzlers: A consumer looks at flat-screen televisions in a store (file photo). California is set to ban big screen TVs in a move applauded by environmentalists


Environmentalists have applauded the move.

But manufacturers claim consumers will be hit in the pocket by the new rules.

About a quarter of currently available televisions would have to be pulled from the shops, said Doug Johnson, of the Consumer Electronics Association.

‘Voluntary efforts are succeeding without regulations,’ he told the Los Angeles Times.

The commission ‘appears to be carelessly rushing this flawed regulatory proposal that sets arbitrary limits on TV energy usage,’ he added.

article-1220664-06D3585D000005DC-195_233x339.jpg The move is being backed by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger


Driven largely by the surge in giant flat screens, TVs account for about 10 per cent of residential energy use in California, America’s most populated state, and the bigger the set, the more energy they use.

The ban targets the larger screen liquid-crystal display and plasma high definition TVs. A vote could come as soon as November 4, which would require TV makers to sell only energy efficient models by 2011.

Similar standards have been used to limit energy consumption with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s.

Hundreds of top-selling big screen LCD models on the market already comply with the proposed new standards.

Plasma TVs use significantly more power, with some using triple the electricity of a regular set.

But manufacturers are quickly coming up with ways of slashing power use with new technology and materials, making even 50-inch models more economical to use.

‘We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy,’ said Commissioner Julia Levin, who is behind the push for new regulations.

‘This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs,’ she added.

Governor Schwarzenegger, who appointed the members of the energy commission, supports its approach, said spokesman Aaron McLear.

Among the new energy saving measures being introduced are light- emitting diodes that consume tiny amounts of power and special reflective films and sensors that automatically adjust TV brightness to the amount of light in the room.

The proposed new rules would require TVs with 58 inch screens or smaller to comply with a minimum efficiency standard by January 1, 2011 and a more stringent one two years later.

State regulators are still debating new standards for TVs bigger than 58 inches.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1220664/California-set-ban-energy-guzzling-big-screen-TVs.html#ixzz0U2FwzqKC

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