California mandates TVs with lower power consumption

Nov. 30, 2009
The California Energy Commission has placed limits on the power consumption of new TVs, according to their size.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved the USA's first energy-efficiency standards for televisions (see press release).

The standards are technology-neutral, meaning they will apply to all TV types including LCD televisions with either CCFL or LED backlights, as well as plasma and OLED TVs.

When implemented in 2011, the standards mandate that new televisions sold in California should consume 33 percent less electricity by 2011 and 49 percent less electricity by 2013.

For example, a 42-inch screen would consume 183 watts or less by 2011 and 115 watts or less by 2013.

Pacific Gas & Electric estimates that over a decade the standards will reduce CO2 emissions by three million metric tons. After ten years, the CEC estimates the regulations will save $8.1 billion in energy costs and save enough energy to power 864,000 single-family homes.

More than 1,000 TV models on the market today already meet the 2011 standards and cost no more than less-efficient sets. The regulations will not affect existing televisions that consumers already own or the TVs currently on retail store shelves.

LED backlighting can contribute to lower power consumption, as well as typically providing better picture quality, although cost is typically higher than models with conventional backlights. New technologies such as 3D TV are likely to add to power consumption, at least in the short term.

Sharp to supply LED backlights to Sony

A report on Reuters, quoting the Nikkei business daily newspaper, says that Sharp will begin supplying LED backlights for LCD televisions to Sony, expanding the alliance between the companies for LCD panels.

Apparently, the two companies will also jointly develop next-generation backlights. Sharp and Sony opened a jointly-operated LCD panel production facility in Sakai, western Japan, in October, and have been seeking ways to strengthen their alliance.

LED TV Buying Guide

The Consumer Electronics Advisory Group Inc. (CEAG) has introduced the LED TV Buying Guide to report on new manufacturer models, technology comparisons, current trends, and review new LED TVs such as the Samsung UN55B8000 and the Sony KDL-55XBR8.