California bans energy-guzzling TVs

Candy Bellinger

Energy-sapping televisions are set to be banned throughout California in a landmark move to reduce energy consumption. It will be the first US state to impose a mandatory curb on power draining TVs and supporters say the move will help save California residents more than $8bn in energy costs over the course of 10 years.

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The California Energy Commission will now require all new sets up to 58 inches to be more energy efficient by 2011, consuming 33% less energy than existing TVs. By 2013, standards will get even tougher with regulators insisting on 50% greater efficiency.

Energy commissioner Julia Levin said: "We have every confidence this industry will be able to meet the rule and then some. It will save consumers money, it will help protect public health and it will spark innovation."

California has long led the way in terms of environmental issues in the US, with tough restrictions already in place on refrigerators, washing machines and many other appliances. And environmental groups are applauding the tougher standards for TVs, as current usage accounts for 10% of home energy bills in the state.

However, an industry group in Virginia warned that around 25% of sets currently on sale would not meet the minimum standards imposed. Dave Arland, who represents the plasma television industry, told the BBC: "It could drive up costs. The ones that are super energy efficient are the ones that are more pricey."

Let us know what you think. Do you agree that power-guzzling TVs should be banned, or is it simply limiting choice?