The Greener Flat Screen - CA Plans for Energy-Sipping Televisions
Decreasing energy consumption is an essential part of a sustainable future, especially within our own homes. Residential energy accounts for nearly a quarter of all the power consumed in the United States. In 2001, just our televisions gobbled up 3% of that energy - and that was before the craze of plasma and LCD flat screens that require more power than the traditional cathode-ray tubes.
California is taking initiative to minimize that consumption with new efficiency standards expected to be enacted this summer. All televisions manufactured after the beginning of 2011 will have to use half the energy of the sets currently on the market by 2013 if the rules are approved.
The Consumer Electronics Association argues that the manufacturers should be in control of the solution - leaving the energy savings in the hands of the consumer by installing adjustments to control brightness and contrast settings rather than researching and developing cleaner technology.
Some manufacturers have already taken the time to do their homework and are producing flat screens that use a fraction of the power. Samsung's new LED flat screen is only an inch-and-a-half thick and requires 40% less energy than conventional models. New technology never comes cheap so the thinnest and greenest TV comes with a price tag of close to $3,000.
Prices should drop in the not-too-distant future when competition increases with the introduction of similar low-energy televisions by Sony and LG.