California takes aim at energy hog TVs

California state regulators have taken aim at televisions, saying the higher demand for bigger, more powerful TVs has led to increased energy consumption throughout the state.

One 42-inch plasma TV uses more energy than a large refrigerator, the California Energy Commission recently said in a study.  The commission has created an energy proposal that would reduce the electrical draw from TVs, though many TVs available in the state would not meet the requirements.

Assuming the idea is approved, manufacturers will have until 2011 to release TVs that are able to meet the new energy-efficiency standards.  Specifically, manufacturers have to have TVs with one-third less electricity in 2011, with the ultimate goal of 50 percent less energy consumption by 2013.

There are around 400 TVs available right now that can meet the standards in 2011, with most manufacturers able to easily make the necessary requirements for 2013.  According to other statistics, just one-fourth of TVs available in the state are able to meet the commission’s standards.

Vizio and several other manufacturers approve the commission’s goals over the next few years, and will be able to meet the new standards.  However, not everyone is excited about the energy reduction proposal, and a possible battle is on the horizon between the commission and several trade groups.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) believes the industry faces 4,600 lost jobs and $50 million per year in lost tax revenue if the commission’s plans are adopted.