California approves new TV energy regulation: Energy consumption to be cut in half by 2012


Looks like California approved the new energy standards for televisions. The Consumer Electronics Association is predictably upset, whinging on about “constraining” innovation and choice, while environmental groups are predictably thrilled. The state’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, hailed the decision, and said that it will make California a “world-leader” in “the fight against climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new regulations will require television manufacturers to cut the amount of power that TVs use by one-third by 2011, and by just less than half by 2013. That’s right: in just around three years all TVs sold in California will have to be 49 percent more energy efficient.

Consumers stand to benefit in the sense that, since their TVs will now use less electricity, they’ll be spending less money going forward. It’s not a huge amount—you’re looking at saving around $30 per year when the 2013 regulations kick in—but the main push behind the new regulations was more altruistic and not necessarily thrift.

As for the CEA, which represents TV manufacturers and the like (it also organizes CES every January), it says the new regulations will cost the state some 4,000 jobs and siphon off $46 million in taxes. It hasn’t ruled out filing a lawsuit, so we may well be in for many more stories in the future.