California regulators from California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the nation's first energy-efficiency standards for televisions Wednesday in hopes of reducing electricity use. The regulations requiring televisions to be more efficient will be phased in beginning in 2011. The standards will become even tougher in 2013, with only a quarter of all TVs currently on the market meeting the efficiency requirements.
Energy consumption for appliances with energy standards has steadily declined over the past few decades, while the energy consumed by televisions has risen, especially in recent years. The CEC estimates that TVs account for about 10 percent of a home's electricity use. The concern is that the energy draw will rise by as much as 8 percent a year as consumers buy larger televisions, add more to their homes and watch them longer.
Televisions account for about 2 percent of California's overall electricity use. Requiring them to be more energy efficient would save enough electricity to power 864,000 single-family homes a year in California by 2023. That's enough for Anaheim, Burbank, Glendale and Palo Alto combined.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is encouraging the Obama administration to adopt new energy efficiency standards for televisions, similar to those just approved in her home state of California.