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California Approves Energy Efficiency Measures for TVs

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The California Energy Commission just approved measures to ensure new televisions are energy efficient. The proposed standards have been a point of contention with the consumer electronics industry and Hollywood, and a decision had been delayed after extended comments from the Consumer Electronics Association.

The standards will apply only to new televisions sold in California starting in January 2011. Further, they are only for TVs 58 inches or smaller. TV makers, with the exception of Vizio, had opposed the measure on the grounds that they expect to make their TVs greener on a voluntary basis, and the regulation is overkill.

California also thinks that TVs are more of an energy suck than TV makers do; the CEC estimates they account for 10 percent of household power use while TV makers say it’s closer to 5 percent. The CEC says the measure will save 3,831 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2011, at a cost reduction of between $18 and $30 per year, per television.