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Television Media United States

New Energy Efficiency Rules For TVs Sold In California 609

Posted by timothy
from the free-markets-are-just-too-wacky-and-non-linear dept.
petehead writes "The LA Times reports on regulations expected to pass in 2009 that will not allow energy-inefficient TVs to be sold in the state. 'State regulators are getting ready to curb the growing power gluttony of TV sets by drafting the nation's first rules requiring retailers to sell only the most energy-efficient models, starting in 2011... The regulations would be phased in over two years, with a first tier taking effect on Jan. 1, 2011, and a more stringent, second tier on Jan. 1, 2013.'" According to the Energy Commission's estimates, purchasers of Tier 1-compliant TVs would shave an average of $18.48 off their residential electric bill in the first year of ownership.
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New Energy Efficiency Rules For TVs Sold In California

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  • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#26362795) Homepage

    These new TVs will be identical to other TVs sold elsewhere in the country, except that have a governor that limits the brightness to 7.

    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:49PM (#26362977)

      except that have a governor that limits the brightness to 7.

      You mean a Governator right?

    • Re:Mine goes to 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:01PM (#26363165)

      These new TVs will be identical to other TVs sold elsewhere in the country, except that have a price tag that is 25% higher.

      Here fixed that for you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sketerpot (454020)
        California's market is big enough that this will make energy efficiency a more important R&D goal for TV manufacturers, and in a few years the costs will come down to the point where all the new TVs meet the standard. It's just like what happened with refrigerators. Hopefully.
        • Re:Mine goes to 11 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by barzok (26681) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @07:00PM (#26364999)

          You mean like the "California Emissions" regulations that increase the prices of cars and completely prevent the sale of new diesel cars (and some trucks) in the Northeast states that also follow those regulations?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Actually Volkswagen and Mercedes have developed better catalysts that allow 2008 and 2009 diesel cars to be sold in California and the New England states.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by afidel (530433)
              That's mostly because the US finally went to ultra low sulfur diesel, without it the catalysts would have been polluted in weeks at most. California was right to ban diesels until we switched, sulfur is a massive contributor to the detrimental health effects of smog.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                I don't agree. California imposed their regulations for clean diesel car in 2006. However the ultra-low sulfur diesel was not available until 2008. What California should have done was postpone the regulations until 2008, that way there would have been no need to ban the cars at all.

                I forgot to mention in my last posting that Ford and Honda will also be releasing clean diesels soon. Honda's going to be selling a Diesel version of their Civic in 2010! Supposedly it gets 50mpg.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            You mean like the "California Emissions" regulations that increase the prices of cars and completely prevent the sale of new diesel cars (and some trucks) in the Northeast states that also follow those regulations?

            The problem with your whiny argument is that a) it is not true and b) emissions restrictions WORK.

            Los Angeles was the most polluted city in the world before instituting harsh emissions standards. They were the first county at least in the US to start sending people around with handheld meters to test particulate outputs etc. They did this because the pollution was becoming a health hazard, causing bleeding lesions in the lungs of children and the elderly, things like that. Today there is more Chinese pollut

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#26362797)

    the models where the power cord doesn't end in a 3-prong plug, but in a stationary bicycle...

    • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @07:13PM (#26365159)

      And healthcare costs drop suddenly...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988)

        The UK government estimated that each person cycling to work instead of driving saves the country £160 in public spending each year (mostly, healthcare savings and reduced road maintenance) and takes less days off due to ill health.
        I think they even took account of the people living longer (so costing more in state pensions etc).

        They also estimated that in 2050, if people were still as lazy/inactive as today, then the National Health Service would be spending half it's budget (£50bn) on obesity-

  • Details up front (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#26362801) Homepage
    We're getting to a point where items like TVs and game systems should have power consumption ratings on them in the store, like with many kitchen appliances.
    • We're getting to a point where items like TVs and game systems should have power consumption ratings on them in the store, like with many kitchen appliances.

      Which reminds me, why isn't power usage listed for video cards like it is for CPUs?

  • Yet Another (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:43PM (#26362837) Homepage Journal

    Yet another revenue stream disguised as a certifcation process....

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:44PM (#26362855)

    How about cable and sat boxes that can power down more then they do now and DRV's that spin down the HD when they are off and have no planed shows coming up.

  • by andytrevino (943397) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:44PM (#26362857) Homepage

    Great, more government intervention in both the market and our lives; the net result will just be less choice and higher prices for TVs everywhere.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:39PM (#26363777) Homepage Journal

      You won't voluntarily curb your energy use, and damn it it's MY planet you're warming. I'll bet you bitched about taking lead out of gasoline, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act... when your actions impinge my life, government SHOULD get involved.

      Not all of us worship money and the free market. Some of us understand what is REALLY important in life. And it ain't a bigger SUV and outspending the neighbors. I have gworn kids, it it's THEIR planet you're fucking up.

      • by andytrevino (943397) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @06:28PM (#26364521) Homepage

        I think you think I'm more of a troll than I actually am...

        I'm not old enough to have bitched about all of those things, and certainly there are both good intentions and good results, as many of those reforms can fall under the common-sense category (especially lead in gasoline...), but for every common-sense reform I can point at three that just resulted in wasted time and tax dollars, or caused severe market repercussions elsewhere.

        Usually the problem with those negative examples is that someone freaked out about something (global cooling! global warming! global climate change! financial crisis!) and decided that SOMETHING needed to be done NOW. They then came up with a half-baked short-term solution to that problem and put it into place and continued living their lives. That's exactly what I classify this as: a half-baked short-term solution that won't do anything in the long run.

        Take for example a great examples of way that private industry can help the environment: Wal-Mart reducing fuel consumption on their trucks [usatoday.com]: not only does this save Wal-Mart lots of money in fuel costs, but it drives innovation in truck and vehicle design and helps to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If they then sell this technology to other companies similarly interested in both reduced costs and increased fuel economy, the effect will be much more substantial -- and require not a taxpayer penny -- than this silly regulation and the certification process it will surely produce.

        • by tfoss (203340) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @09:34PM (#26366863)

          I think you think I'm more of a troll than I actually am...

          Well I just think you are placing way too much faith in market forces to deal with negative externalities.

          I'm not old enough to have bitched about all of those things

          But your logic is the exact same that was used by those who did. All the examples are ones where the effects of producers actions made stuff cheap(er), and harmed the environment and people. The constant cry of 'government shouldn't meddle in the market' is a little hard to take philosophically, and extremely hard to take pragmatically (financial industry bailout much?)

          Usually the problem with those negative examples is that someone freaked out about something (global cooling! global warming! global climate change! financial crisis!) and decided that SOMETHING needed to be done NOW.

          I'd submit that the problem is more that something bad for people/environment is happening, and though the gov't is finally get around do something about it, the industry that is going to be effected tried its damnedest to minimize the effectiveness of the regulations. Care to give any examples that exemplify your assertion?

          That's exactly what I classify this as: a half-baked short-term solution that won't do anything in the long run.

          Right, like raising CAFE standards didn't do anything [npr.org] in the long run. Or increasing refrigerator standards didn't do anything [politico.com]. Or limiting tailpipe emissions didn't do anything.

          Energy efficiency is one the best examples of where government regulation can, and has, made verifiable improvements in real, meaningful areas.

          -Ted

        • by thule (9041)

          Usually the problem with those negative examples is that someone freaked out about something (global cooling! global warming! global climate change! financial crisis!) and decided that SOMETHING needed to be done NOW.

          If people didn't freak out about nuclear power years ago, then we would have a lot less coal plants, a lot less people dying to dig for coal, a lot less pollution from coal, less worries about energy for electricity, and a lot less people complaining about CO2 emissions -- well, maybe that would stay the same.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        Given that 100% of our environmental problems are a direct result of too many people on the planet, if you have one kid, you can complain without being a clueless idiot. If you have to, you are at best neutral on the environment, and thus are seriously overstating your case, and if you have more than two, you are a total planet destroying hypocrite.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          If you have to, you are at best neutral on the environment, and thus are seriously overstating your case,

          Replacement is about 2.3 or so. The reasoning is that the .3 do not reproduce. There are gay kids, there are kids that die before fertility, and those that have the desire and the means, but not the partner (slashdotters, I'm looking at you). So exactly 2 is still on the side of decreasing the population. Now, all the people with 2.5 kids are evil.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tthomas48 (180798)

      Listen, we've tried your way. It doesn't work. And constantly reiterating the same tired point about regulation = bad and government = bad is getting silly. The Republican/Libertarian idea of a free-market may be ideal. Ideal for defrauding most efficiently. Ideal for using limited resources the most quickly. Ideal for concentrating wealth into the fewest hands possible. Ideal for using government resources for the needs of a few limited corporations rather than the individual citizen. Ideal for running up

  • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:46PM (#26362919) Homepage Journal

    $18.48 in just a year? That new LCD HDTV will practically pay for itself!

    -Peter

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang (1023425)

      $18.48 in just a year? That new LCD HDTV will practically pay for itself!

      -Peter

      And just when you think you recovered the cost of the TV, its time time to buy a new one! Oh, did I mention there is a special disposal fee for your old one?

  • by molesdad (1003858) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:47PM (#26362925)
    Non purchasers will save up to $1000 in the first year. lol
  • Savings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:48PM (#26362941) Journal

    Yep, you can save $18 and year and pay an extra hundred today. Sounds great for something like a TV that is only going to be used for 5 years or so anyway these days. Never mind that time value of money consideration. Thank you Nanny State for saving me from high energy bills, and myself.

    • Re:Savings (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:56PM (#26363093) Homepage

      They're not doing it to save you money. They're doing it to save the earth.

      'cos there's only one Earth, and you're supposed to leave it in better condition then you found it. That way the history books won't point to the "SUV era" as a bunch of greedy, self centered morons. Perhaps the first generation who had full knowledge of what was going down ecologically, but did absolutely nothing to change their obesity-driven lifestyle.

      • Re:Savings (Score:4, Funny)

        by Black-Man (198831) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:12PM (#26363311)

        Typing your rant on a power-hungry computer sucking electricity from that evil coal-fired power plant. Rant on!

      • i resent that!

        I know what's going down with the environment. i also drive an SUV and could stand to lose some weight, but i did change my lifestyle. when i was reading about global warming i realized that most of the area i live in is going to be destroyed by flooding from the great lakes. that made me invest in some bigger tires for my truck. now i am riding high on 35" mudding wheels and a 5" lift kit. it cost a bundle and there is a pretty big hit in the gas mileage, but it is worth it to prepare
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:53PM (#26363043)

    You'd think that I was stealing my electricity from the government.

    But I'm not. I'm paying for it out of my own pocket, but the government still insists on regulating how much I use of it, and now even what I'm allowed to buy to use it with...

    One would think that, since I'm the one PAYING for electricity (not to mention various taxes and sales taxes associated with a TV, if I had a TV), I'd be allowed to pay more and use more? Now THERE is a novel concept - if I have more money, I can use more money to get more things! Wow. And if I'm smart, I can save money by buying a more power-efficient TV! Wouldn't that be a thought...

    California, frankly, is wacky :)

    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:13PM (#26363343) Homepage

      The problem with electricity is that how much a device actually uses is pretty well hidden from the user, so most people just don't know it and don't factor it into their buying decisions, so good old free market can't really work. Another thing is that many electronic devices use much more then they have to, stand-by mode is a classic case, its easy to not waste much power on it, yet many devices still do. A little regulation that nocks the makers into the right direction can be a good thing sometimes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wesley Felter (138342)

        The problem with electricity is that how much a device actually uses is pretty well hidden from the user, so most people just don't know it and don't factor it into their buying decisions, so good old free market can't really work.

        The solution to that is labeling (Energy Star), not outright bans.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LandDolphin (1202876)
      To the best of my knowledge, California has electricity problems.

      While you can use electricity to power TVs, and the such. But if you Don't have enough power for everyone to use everythign that they want, then you need to regulate peoples power useage.

      Sure, you could follow Capitolism and raise the rates for power really high. That was those that can afford it could run thier TVs, Computers, and what ever other toys they want. But then your left with people that cnnot afford to run it for ess
    • by TheOriginalRevdoc (765542) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:40PM (#26363801) Journal
      You're not paying for the external cost of generating the electricity, which is the problem. Those external costs include mercury and CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants. I suppose if those costs were tacked on to your power bill you'd have a case.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster (516420)
        They probably should be tacked onto the power bill, but then everyone would piss and moan about how only wealthy people can afford to live like most middle class Americans do today. If everyone on the planet lived like Americans do today then it would take dozens of planets to provide all of the resources. There is going to be a day of reckoning, sooner or later (probably with some violence involved), when the accounts are balanced and we all pay our dues.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:54PM (#26363073)

    I think this is overstepping it a bit.

    I'm a big a/v-phile and I dislike LCD and "flat" tv's because they don't have true black points or uniform color.

    I want a CRT, and CRTs are power hungry.

    This doesn't mean i'm not environmentally conscious.

    I use all CFL's and avoid having anything on unless i'm making immediate use.

    How about introducing power consumption rules for homes, at least maximum peak power consumption to help lessen the load on the grid by incorporating localized temporary storage?

    This would also have a side benefit of helping to prevent the kind of chaos mass blackouts produce by providing a bare minimum power to, say, keep your fridge running for 24-72 hours when the grid goes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nschubach (922175)

      Or why not let the blackouts happen so people will figure it out themselves and maybe by decentralized power production devices like solar panels and home wind turbines to supplement their energy usage.

      You could also raise the cost of electricity to push that incentive... since it's going to cost more to generate that power.

      The free market works... if the government doesn't keep feeding it money in subsidies and welfare.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        > Or why not let the blackouts happen so people will figure it out themselves

        Who's "people"? If I figure it out for myself and my neighbors don't then I still suffer blackouts.

        > The free market works...

        The free market "works" if your definition of "work" is the circular "what the free market determines". But if I get blackouts because of my neighbors actions I don't think it has worked at all.

  • E-Waste Disposal Fee (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:56PM (#26363091)
    In California we already pay an Electronic Waste Disposal Fee whenever we purchase a new TV that varies based on the price of the TV, but was $20-30 last time I purchased one. Yet another example of the state trying to control its citizens, and those of other US states given that California is such a large segment of the US economy, and manufacturers will be less likley to export units that meet environmental standards in other states. When I lived back in Ohio I always got a card in the package when I purcased solder that said "WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.", and often see links on websites for "Your California Privicy Rights."

    All it really does is hurt retailers whom are going to loose out on sales in border cities where consumers have more choice in other states (such as Nevada, Oregon or Arizona), and making life difficult for online sellers to keep track of what units they can/can not sell to CA residents. All the while, most Californians are probably watching TV on their old CRTs that are burning up energy and are probably going to be dumped in the desert somewhere when they quit working. Southern California (where energy is hardest to come by) has literally millions of square miles of desert and lots of folks moving there to find affordable housing but still commute to the LA area to find reasonable paying jobs. If they built a power plant or two up there and some manufacturing they could cut down on transportation costs, improve the quality of life of residents in the desert and the valley and not be so desperate to save power that they're going to restrict tvs and non CFL lightbulbs (wish I still had the URL for that nonsense someone was proposing about a year ago).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by snspdaarf (1314399)
      "Good afternoon, sir, and welcome to California. Do you have any vegetables, fruit, live plants or non-Tier 1 televisions in your vehicle?"
  • by fataugie (89032) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:56PM (#26363095) Homepage

    Too many government regulations, man....too many.

    Next I guess you're going to tell me I can't burn tires on Earth Day?
    Good Grief!

  • by randyest (589159) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @04:57PM (#26363113) Homepage
    The article [latimes.com] and in particular this "infographic" [latimes.com] is completely wrong or at least misleading. LCD TVs do not consume more power than the same sized CRT as claimed. In fact, an LCD set will consume 50% or less power than a comparably-sized CRT. Of course, if you decide to base each type of set's power consumption on "average set size" without fucking bothering to define what that average is or even bothering to keep the same average for each type of TV (!), then you can pretty much "prove" anything you want, can't you?

    Hell, my neighborhood newsletter is way more popular* and produces much better advertising results** than the LA Times!

    I don't know why the "California Energy Commission" would make such a preposterous claim, unless they're not comparing the same size LCD and CRT, which would be ridiculous of course. I also don't know how the LA Times could be so ignorant as to not notice this obvious error, and how they could be so irresponsible as to report such obvious nonsense without doing any research or checking with other sources, or at least questioning or pointing out the (unfair) comparison of small CRTs to large LCDs.

    Educate thyself [eu-energystar.org] and read any of the dozens of results [google.com] that show LCDs use less power than CRTs.

    Then wonder why the tax/power requirements isn't based on size/overall power consumption instead of just being arbitrarily assessed on LCDs in general. (Hint: it's another money grab, and what better way than to focus it on the better selling, higher-value product?)

    * "popular" is defined as the percentage of my relatives that read it daily.
    ** "results" is defined as how many free gifts I get from advertisers.
    *** Hey! Look at that! I'm full of shit but at least I cite my bullshit definitions, which is more than you can say for the LA Times and the California Energy Commission!
    • by KalvinB (205500) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @06:33PM (#26364603) Homepage

      because they only care about what the average person buys. It doesn't matter if per inch of viewing area an LCD uses less power than a CRT if the average consumer buys 2 inches of LCD for every inch of CRT.

      I'm fine with my 24-27 inch CRT. But I'm not going to buy an LCD that's less than about 34 inches.

      So if the government wants to reduce my power consumption they need to make sure that the 34 inch LCD uses less power than the 24 inch CRT I already have. It doesn't matter if the 24 inch LCD uses less power because on average, nobody buys a 24 inch LCD to replace a 24 inch CRT.

  • Peoples Republic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squoozer (730327) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:13PM (#26363345)

    I find it a little saddening that nearly everyone complains about this type of legislation while at the same time demanding that something be done about global warming.

    The fundamental problem we have is that we aren't currently being billed the true cost of (most of) the power we are using. The energy companies have been getting away with polluting the environment on a massive scale for at no cost to them.

    We can tackle that problem in two ways: 1) force power companies to pay to clean up their pollution. 2) Increases taxes so that Government can clean up the pollution. Either way it means that things are going to get a lot more expensive. Government isn't about to raise taxes to clean up the atmosphere and they certainly aren't going to try to make energy companies fix the problem so the only really option is to bring in strict guidelines on how much power devices can consume and hope the problem goes away.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MaWeiTao (908546)

      If the power were being generated by wind, solar and perhaps nuclear power why would having a more inefficient television be harmful to the environment? As for pollution from manufacturing the televisions themselves, an energy inefficient television is just as potentially harmful as an efficient one.

      And as for global warming, it's debatable that something needs to be done about that.

      As for taxes being raised, I think it's time the government cut their own waste. If their too inept to manage their own budget

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:19PM (#26363421) Journal

    I don't think they can do it. This falls afoul of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:23PM (#26363495) Journal
    Does anyone think that these TVs are built in CA? Even that might not matter, based on the Supreme Courtdecisions that anything that affects interstate commerce is covered by the interstate commerce clause.
  • by rickb928 (945187) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @05:32PM (#26363671) Homepage Journal

    Except making some people in power the thrill of being 'better' than 'you'. And in this case, 'you' means everybody except them.

    Saving the power needed to run 86,400 homes? The Census reported 11,502,870 in 2000. So they want to save about .75% of total power generation? Maybe? Their power consumption numbers are so far off they may end up saving a tenth of THAT...

    What an utter waste of time. More impact would be realized if they required datacenters to be located further north, requiring less demanding cooling systems.

    Dammit, now I'm giving them more cockamamie ideas. I hate when I do that.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @06:14PM (#26364289)

    So why aren't they considering regulating the excess of so-called wall warts? How many of the critters do you have in your house, continually sucking juice unless you make an executive decision to yank them off the hose?

    Many years ago I read an estimate that AC adapters accounted for up to EIGHT PERCENT of the average household electricity bill. How much worse must that figure be now in 2009, given that so many manufacturers abuse them as a cop-out for better design? It's one thing to have an AC adapter for a device that MUST be as tiny as possible, can't dissipate heat, or is intended to be active all the time, like a router or cable modem... but does an HP or Lexmark printer or scanner need an AC adapter? Does a recharging station for a cordless Black and Decker hand vacuum need one? No!

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