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California Publishes Television Efficiency Standards For 2011

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the use-them-to-watch-the-electric-company dept.

Government 265

eldavojohn writes "It's been nine months since California announced their intentions to create new standards on energy-consuming televisions in their state, but yesterday the California Energy Commission finally released the first draft of the regulations. (More information straight from the horse's mouth.) If you live in another state, you may be unfamiliar with California's history of mandating power usage among anything from dishwashers to washing machines to other household appliances. This has also led to California pushing to ban incandescent light bulbs. From their FAQ on TV Efficiency Standards: 'The proposed standards have no effect on existing televisions. If approved, they would only apply to TVs sold in California after January 1, 2011. The first standard (Tier 1) would take effect January 1, 2011, and reduce energy consumption by average of 33 percent. The second measure (Tier 2) would take effect in 2013 and, in conjunction with Tier 1, reduce energy consumption by an average of 49 percent.' The Draft from December 2008 is available on their site (PDF, with a shorter 'Just the Facts' flier for those of you without two hours to burn). There's no indication whether that's what they're going with, or if it's been updated since then."

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Counterpoints (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#29477677)

So I submitted the summary and it was getting long, I didn't have enough room to add the counter arguments against this proposal (I may have made it look fairly unopposed). While the governator had his monicker on the linked documents, the New York Times [nytimes.com] has him likening this to water:

I am totally against protectionist policies because it never works. You have to understand that we get our water from outside California. We get it from the Colorado River, for instance. Why can we get the water from the Colorado River but we can't get renewable energy from outside the state? We get most of our cars from outside the state; why can't we get renewable energy?

With Reuters outlining some challenges [reuters.com] . Aside from that, you have some groups like the CEA speaking out against it [reuters.com] and a surprisingly negative response from the California citizens for smart clean energy claiming that it cuts jobs for citizens [reuters.com] . A rep from them said:

We all believe in the importance of energy efficiency, but the CEC's proposed regulation is simply bad policy that will do little to achieve energy efficiency and a lot to destroy California jobs. The consumer electronics industry has been trying to work with the CEC since day one on alternatives that would help achieve energy efficiency without causing undue harm on California's economy. But time and time again, we have been disappointed with the CEC's approach and process.

Re:Counterpoints (3, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29477795)

I believe the article from the New York Times is about the bill passed by the California legislature to limit renewable energy from in-state sources. The governer's response, therefore, is focused on his support for receiving renewable energy from both inside and outside the state of California. The article doesn't really have anything to do with televisions.

As for the Consumer Electronics Association speaking out against a mandatory increase in energy efficiency in televisions, who saw that coming? An industry lobby is hardly where I would go for reliable advice on cutting down on energy consumption.

By the way, the other group opposed is named "Californians for Smart Energy" not "California citizens for smart clean energy," a difference I am sure we can all appreciate. According to their website, they are a group consisting of "consumers, small businesses, trade groups and associations." So, they are another industry-associated organization. Again, not the place to go for real advice on how to reduce waste.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29477801)

Correction, first sentence in the post above should read: I believe the article from the New York Times is about the bill passed by the California legislature to limit renewable energy *to* in-state sources.

Thus, the point is that all renewable energy used in California would come from within the state of California. Legislature passed this bill and the governer (Schwarzenegger) is opposed.

Re:Counterpoints (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478291)

Two things...

As for the Consumer Electronics Association speaking out against a mandatory increase in energy efficiency in televisions, who saw that coming? An industry lobby is hardly where I would go for reliable advice on cutting down on energy consumption.

First, who knows more about manufacturing TVs than the TV industry?

Second, if the citizens of California are really concerned about the energy efficiency of their TVs, why do they keep buying the current inefficient ones? I can almost buy the argument that people "need" cars, but surely nobody "needs" a TV? If they really gave a damn, they wouldn't buy one.

This is government babysitting at it's best. A bunch of know nothing bureaucrats passing stupid, unwanted laws to make themselves look necessary. Just what you'd expect from California.

Re:Counterpoints (3, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29478385)

who knows more about manufacturing TVs than the TV industry?

And who knows more about automobiles than the automobile industry? But, wait, the automobile industry protests practically every single time California wants to introduce stricter emissions controls. Nevertheless, California presses forward over their objections.

The result is that we have cleaner air and automobiles with higher gas mileage. The result of this TV law is that we will have TVs that don't consume as much energy. Just how is this a bad thing? Seriously...

Re:Counterpoints (1, Troll)

jcnnghm (538570) | about 5 years ago | (#29478627)

Higher cost. Seriously...

Re:Counterpoints (4, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29478733)

Higher cost. Seriously...

I suppose it depends on what types of "cost" you evaluate. I like clean beaches, clean air, clean water, less disease and a longer lifespan.

All of these things have value for me. Therefore, the savings I accrue in terms of the things I value in laws that benefit the environment far outweigh any potential gains in paying five dollars less for a television set.

Furthermore, devices that use less energy provide savings in your electric bill. If you can't evaluate the savings in your future health costs by breathing cleaner air, then at least evaluate the savings in your immediate energy costs by using less electricity.

Drv HD spin down is needed when not in use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477797)

Drv HD spin down is needed when not in use

Re:Counterpoints (4, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | about 5 years ago | (#29477819)

Why is it that anything you don't like "will cost jobs"? We gonna need a ???? / Profit!!! thing for this.
1. Joe Sixpack doesn't look at consumption when he buys a TV.
2. So you impose some standards by law.
3.????????????
4. Jobs are lost!!!

Re:Counterpoints (0, Troll)

tftp (111690) | about 5 years ago | (#29477875)

3(a) A local powerplant is closed, 100 jobs are lost.

3(b) PG&E receives so little revenue that it has to fire 25% of the line crews. Not only lobs are lost, the grid becomes more vulnerable to damage during winter since not enough people are available to maintain and repair the wires.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

lyml (1200795) | about 5 years ago | (#29477901)

Broken windows fallacy.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

tftp (111690) | about 5 years ago | (#29477981)

That is probably true, but a lot of US economy depends on that fallacy. Jobless, middle-aged PG&E workers can't become DSP programmers overnight (or ever.)

Re:Counterpoints (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29478005)

Except California is regulating their power industry in such a way that they don't really have much cause to shut down plants, even if the relatively small amount of energy consumed by TVs were reduced by half.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478091)

Maybe relatively small savings per tv may be made but consider that there's probably at least one to n TVs per dwelling - this accumulative effect is probably larger than one might think.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29478467)

My TV doesn't even use 200 watts, and it isn't on all of the time. The five or six months of heating I do each year burns 3000 watt-years of propane (So it's like having more than 15 of my TVs on all year long). Saving 100 watts of electric wouldn't hurt my feelings any, but I can save considerably more power if I can increase the heating efficiency of my house by 5%.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478507)

Why not both?

Re:Counterpoints (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29478635)

That's why I said it wouldn't hurt my feelings any, but it isn't real clear to me that the costs of this program are worth the benefits.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 5 years ago | (#29478381)


Don't worry about the energy lost from more efficient plasma TVs, It will just be made up by people needing to turn their heating higher to compensate.

Re:Counterpoints (2, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29478217)

Jobless, middle-aged PG&E workers can't become DSP programmers overnight

Why shouldn't middle-aged workers be able to enroll in a college, university, or vocational program just like a younger person? Yes, they might have family to support, but the government ought to provide an income replacement program for people out of work due to the kind of structural unemployment [wikipedia.org] you describe. This subsidy would support them while they retrain. (I imagine it'd be based on the number of years of previous work experience and on previous income, like a pension, but with a limited duration.)

This program would be good for the economy, and good for the conscience.

Re:Counterpoints (2, Interesting)

mariushm (1022195) | about 5 years ago | (#29478807)

So what? Jobs were also lost when cars replaced horses and the buggies, jobs were also lost when typography machines were invented and people no longer had to duplicate by hand or place letters by hand on a form to print a page?

Maybe in a few years solar cells will be cheap enough and have performance good enough that each house will have them on their roofs so should we then ban them because jobs in power plants will be lost ?

Re:Counterpoints (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29477897)

Both groups opposed are closely tied with industry (see my other response post).

So, it's no surprise that they're going to say the bill will cost jobs. "Costing jobs" is the "fighting terrorism" of 2009.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478099)

"Costing jobs" is "you're not thinking of the children!"

Re:Counterpoints (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 5 years ago | (#29478053)

That press release doesn't say anything except what is necessary to scare people. How does it kill Californian jobs? What TVs or TV components are still being made in California? I don't know if TVs can be made in the US anymore. They're being made in China, Taiwan and Mexico because US labor is just too expensive.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#29478287)

I am totally against protectionist policies because it never works

In fairness, a lot of those protectionist policies seem to work.....we have shower heads that save water, more efficient appliances and dishwashers, etc now. Whether that is solely because of California regulation can be debated, but by pursuing a consistent, directed policy of regulation towards lower power usage, California seems to have achieved some success in reaching their goals. I still miss powerful showers, though.

Regulations! (3, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 5 years ago | (#29477695)

Leading us to a bright new future! or at least that's what the politicians want you to think.

Why regulate? (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29477713)

Why not just make people pay the full price of the electricity they're using so they can leave lights, heating and AC on 24/7 but it's only they who are suffering.

Re:Why regulate? (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 5 years ago | (#29477835)

Because being rational doesn't get you reelected. It's better to spread around progressive ideas so you look like you have accomplished something.

We pay a bunch for the electricity too. We also pay a tax when we buy a display to cover the disposal of that display (around $16 last time I bought something). Of course what I wonder is why we didn't just mandate garbage companies to deal with electronic waste, thus raising the cost of disposal in a way that can adjust to free market demands. We would benefit from additional efficiencies, and adapt to changes without having to write new legislation.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#29477899)

Why not just make people pay the full price of the electricity they're using so they can leave lights, heating and AC on 24/7 but it's only they who are suffering.

But that's not true. If we look at this like an ideal demand causes prices to go up scenario, then the increased demand in energy causes prices to go up for people that make less than those with the money to keep the lights, heating and AC (wtf?) on 24/7. The brownouts might also cause needs for more infrastructure which raises the average cost per kilowatt hour for every consumer -- rich and poor.

I'm not advocating this regulation but I'm do recognize the argument against your counterpoint and I think you need to account for that. Think about what the other viewpoints are in a situation and you're guaranteed to win the argument. I hate to play the devil's advocate and give you the bleeding heart liberal scenario of the poor single mother that can't operate a condom and now can't afford heating but there it is.

Re:Why regulate? (1, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29477989)

You could always make the other taxes more progressive to compensate. You could also use the money this would raise to give people the initial investment needed to upgrade to lower power-expenditure technology, proper insulation, etc.

Re:Why regulate? (2, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478145)

There are more issues at stake than cost per unit of electricity. I have this idea that we're all supposed to be reducing our carbon footprint. It makes perfect sense to make personally-painless reductions in needless waste before we start infringing upon our ways of life.

Why would someone want to buy a device which isn't as energy-efficient as possible? Waste isn't cool ppl.

Re:Why regulate? (3, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29477921)

Because all the morons polluting up the planet by leaving their AC on 24/7 make the rest of us suffer. Seriously, if it were only a matter of economics, there would be no alternative energy movement.

Re:Why regulate? (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29478001)

And to be honest there really -shouldn't- be an alternative energy movement in the US yet. We have -tons- (literally) of coal. This helps a great deal of people earn their living. In other countries though, they might not have any coal or oil, if they are developed enough nuclear would be great for them. If they have lots of rivers waiting to be dammed up, hydroelectric power would be for them. If they have lots of open windy plains, wind energy would be great for them. If they have a large coastline, using the ocean's energy would work. But here in the USA, we have lots of coal, so coal energy makes sense. Sure, there are some areas where wind power, hydroelectric or even nuclear power makes sense, but we have a huge coal deposit, why not tap that? Its cheap, plentiful and helps a lot of unskilled workers.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

paul248 (536459) | about 5 years ago | (#29478105)

You're arguing that we should burn coal just because we have a lot of it? If you had a hammer, would you insist on nailing your feet to the floor?

Just because something is possible, doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea in the long term.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29478129)

If I had a hammer and nails and wanted to put something together, why wouldn't I use the hammer? Sure, I could use a screwdriver and screws to do it, but if all I had was a hammer and nails that does the job pretty much as well as the screwdriver and screws.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

paul248 (536459) | about 5 years ago | (#29478225)

I see nothing wrong with using {hammer, nails, screwdriver, screws} to build something.

On the other hand, burning coal spews tons of toxic garbage into the air. Sure, we get electricity from it now, but in the long term we're all sick and/or dead.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478161)

but we have a huge coal deposit, why not tap that?

CO2

Re:Why regulate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477925)

Not only would that be more logic, but they don't even block the biggest offenders if you have a look at the list linked to from the FAQ. They forbid small plasmas but allow huge LCDs that consume far more energy. It's like if California outlawed small petrol cars but allowed huge diesel trucks because the trucks have better MPG per tonne! It's insane...

Re:Why regulate? (1)

drbuzz0 (1638167) | about 5 years ago | (#29477963)

People generally do pay "full price" for electricity. Despite some government subsides, the fact of the matter is that electricity is a fairly cheap form of energy in general due to the fact that the grid is long paid off as are most power plants. Also, coal is the primary fuel in the US. Coal is dirty as dirt but also cheap as dirt. Actually, if anything, we pay higher prices for electricity than the fair market rate due to the amount of taxation and the mandates for things like "renewable energy" which is far more expensive than the standard methods of generating electricity.

If you want to force people to really really conserve then you'll need to make it artificially expensive. That is a really bad idea.

The problem with making energy (especially electricity) expensive is that it is very regressive since low income always pay more proportionally for energy. If you raise the price, the richest will not conserve. Those with a lot of money don't care if their electric bill is $300 a month or $600. For them, it's a fairly low proportion of income, so they'll keep the AC on. On the other hand, those who are much less well off will be hurt if their bill goes from $30 to $60. It's a lose-lose situation.

Also, less than 25% in the US is used by households. The largest single user is industrial and second is commercial. In this economic climate making electricity more expensive would be damn near suicidal. For aluminum smelters, chemical refiners, manufacturers and so on, electricity is a major cost of doing buisiness. Make electricity expensive and any industry left in the US will be gone overnight, it will put them out of buisiness or force them to move overseas. This has already happened. Alcoa had to close some plants in the US because they were losing money on them. They couldn't generate a profit because electricity prices went up. They were forced to move production to plants in other parts of the country and in Russia, Canada and China.

There are others who will be hit very very hard by high electricity prices. Those include municipalities that have a lot of street lighting, water authorities, especially those that have to pump water long distances, sewage treatment plants and electrified public transit. Subway and light rail operators use huge amounts of electricity. They would have to raise their prices and that could force more to use buses or cars (not a good thing for the enviornment)

There is really only one way that has proven effective in controlling emissions from electricity and that is to change the way you generate it. People use a lot of electricity and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, electricity use should be encouraged in applications where it replaced fossil fuel use. We may soon see a major switch over to electrified transport. You can't have this without cheap and plentiful electricity, and to do it ecologically it needs to be from a clean source.

France accomplished this by building a large number of nuclear power plants. I'm not going to go into the whole debate over nuclear waste and everything, because that's getting way off topic. It can also be provided by a clean and cheap source like hydroelectric.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29478047)

By "full price", I am including externalities like pollution. So if a rich person uses $600 of electricity per day, he'll pay, for example, $220 for the actual production and $380 to cover the environmental damage he's causing. We wouldn't care how much smoke he's causing to be pummeled into the air since he's reimbursing us for the harm it's causing.

regulation has worked in California (4, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | about 5 years ago | (#29478257)

The "full price" you're describing doesn't include the cost of damage to human health and the environment from mercury and other heavy metals, acid rain, greenhouse gases, mountaintop removal, smog, etc.

Some *small* part of that cost is included now via regulation, requiring cleaner smokestack technology e.g., which the utilities pass on to customers. But much of it is *not* regulated or otherwise included in the price the end-user pays.

In the meantime, conservation has paid proven dividends in California [theatlantic.com] :

Efficiency and decoupling have helped California to consume electricity far more thriftily than the rest of America. At the time of the 1973 oil shock, California used about 17 percent less electricity per person than the country at large. Since then, as Rosenfeld likes to point out in a chart that has been dubbed âoethe Rosenfeld Curve,â per capita electricity use in the nation has increased by about 50 percent to about 12,000 kilowatt-hours annually. Meanwhile, over that same period, per capita electricity use in California has remained absolutely flat at about 7,000 kilowatt-hours per year. That means the average Californian today uses about 40 percent less electricity per year than the average American.

James Sweeney, who runs Stanford Universityâ(TM)s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, has calculated with Anant Sudarshan, a colleague, that much of that difference can be explained by factors such as Californiaâ(TM)s temperate climate, less heavy industry, and even smaller-sized households. But, Sweeney says, the stateâ(TM)s policy decisions still account for a substantial amountâ"roughly one-fifth to one-fourthâ"of the gap in electricity usage between California and the nation. The focus on efficiency has produced huge savings: though per kilowatt electricity rates are higher in California than in most other places, consumers pay lower electricity bills because they use so much less power than people elsewhere. A few years ago, the California Energy Commission calculated that the stateâ(TM)s efficiency efforts had preempted the need for 24 large-scale power plants and saved state consumers $56 billion.

Rosenfeld says the past generationâ(TM)s gains indicate the state can improve its energy intensity (the amount of energy required to produce each dollar of GDP) by about 30 percent every decade. âoeEfficiency,â he says with a twinkle, âoeseems to be a renewable resource.â

And there is the initial lesson from Californiaâ(TM)s energy experience: efficiency is the foundation of any effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. As California has learned, the most cost-effective way to replace coal or natural gas or petroleum isnâ(TM)t to rely on solar or wind or biofuels; itâ(TM)s to squeeze more work out of less energy.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29478179)

Because then the poor will be left out while the rich folks mop up all the goodies.

Re:Why regulate? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478249)

It's also wasteful to live in a large house or to fly more than x airmiles per year. We could regulate everything to make sure the rich folks don't mop up all the goodies, but then there won't be any point in getting rich.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 5 years ago | (#29478261)

Because few consumers make choices based on energy efficiency; style, color, and brand are more likely to be deciding factors that efficiency of a single tv. When you talk about 30 million TVs though it makes a much bigger difference.

Regulation is the only way to force manufacturers to produce goods that they would have no other incentive to do otherwise, even if it is better.

Residential power is pretty highly subsidized: a 5kVA service only has a 10% premium over a 20 MVA service, despite being about 20% more expensive on a per-unit basis. When you factor in non-time-of-day rates, power appliances draw when not in use during the day are extremely subsidized.

While some regulation is insane (such as AQMD issues for standby generators), there are few alternatives in this area.

Re:Why regulate? (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29478441)

If we charge people more for electricity, consumers will start to make choices based on energy efficiency and manufacturers will cater to them.

other states (2, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 5 years ago | (#29477715)

There be other places to buy yer electronics matey. This law will create markets blacker than the old man's beard and five times the size! By me whiskers this is the worst idea since they made grandma's medicine illegal!

Re:other states (4, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29478021)

This law will create markets blacker than the old man's beard and five times the size!

Except, no, it won't. TV manufacturers will be forced to comply with California law as a de-facto nationwide standard because of the size of the market. So, unless you buy products directly from Korea, "black markets" will not be an issue.

How is mandating energy efficiency a bad idea? Is it also a bad things that California has the best track-record in mandating greater energy efficiency in automobiles? Is it bad that California mandates energy efficiency and alternative energy use in power consumption? Explain how this is de-facto "bad."

Re:other states (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29478209)

Except, no, it won't. TV manufacturers will be forced to comply with California law as a de-facto nationwide standard because of the size of the market. So, unless you buy products directly from Korea, "black markets" will not be an issue.

I would not be surprised if there were not even a black market for energy-sucking TVs in Korea. They deliberately chose NTSC and then ATSC for their own broadcast standards to be compatible with the US in order to better leverage economies of scale. All on its own, California's economy would make it roughly the 10th largest national economy in the world. It's just easier to standardize, after all the hardest part will be in the engineering so might as well amortize that cost over as many sets as possible.

Unbelievable ? In related news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477723)

The European Union is replacing traditional light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, to save energy. Incandescent bulbs will be fully phased out by 2012.

Re:Unbelievable ? In related news ... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478219)

In the UK, I cannot buy them already; nor have I been able to for the past year or more.

I wish someone had taken the time to conduct real studies on the these bulbs:

Two problems are:
  (a) they flicker - supposedly not visible but I'm not using a standard set of eyes and cannot avoid the flicker - headaches follow
  (b) they have wide gaps in the spectrum of light they give out - supposedly not noticeable but it's like being in the dark even when the fluorescent bulb is 'on'.

Combined effect: I cannot buy a light-bulb which enables me to see without headaches and my stock of incandescent bulbs is now almost dry :-(

LED (1)

zogger (617870) | about 5 years ago | (#29478595)

Do you get the same bad effects from LED lighting? I know for area lights they suck (at least the ones I have seen so far), but for reading lights, etc they work OK.

I haven't done it, but maybe if you took LED spots, then had a white or light colored ceiling and tried to just bounce it/diffuse that way around the room or a piece of the room where it mattered you could use them for area lights. I need to try this...

    I agree with you on the compact fluorescents, I try to be as energy efficient as possible, and tried some of those things and they just weird me out, can't stand them, have difficulty reading with them, or doing such things as opening the box up for repairs or upgrades, etc..anything close, close work or reading, they just slap don't work well.. But, normal long tube fluorescents as overhead lights like in shops or offices, etc, don't seem as bad to me for some reason, I can at least tolerate them (except for some that make a hideous high pitched noise that doesn't seem to bother most people but I can hear), but the screw in fluorescent replacements for incandescents just don't cut the mustard for my needs in any place I have tried them yet.

About time... (3, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | about 5 years ago | (#29477729)

I think we all deserve better TVs frankly and I think it is fair to say that the TV industry as a whole has failed to step up. We still have brand new TVs which draw almost as much power "off" as they do turned on with the sound blazing... Hopefully California will encourage more TVs to be produced with these kind of energy saving features by default around the world.

Yes, I too hate the "nanny state" and government intervention but when an industry or consumers fail to act in a responsible fashion at points a government has to step in... I mean lead paint in kid's toys, god knows what in our food, labelling on products to give the consumer more information, sometimes the nanny policies are good for society.

Re:About time... (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#29477807)

consumers fail to act in a responsible fashion at points a government has to step in

If you argue that consumers should be dictated to by the government, aren't you really arguing in favor of a sort of totalitarianism. Who gave you or any other Fed the right to say what is responsible and what is not. That is not among the enumerated powers we have granted to the Congress in our Constitution.

Re:About time... (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 years ago | (#29477877)

Maybe he's arguing that industry should be dictated to by consumers, through the government the consumers elect? That's what government is supposed to be -- the collective will of the people voting for it.

Your Constitutional argument is meaningless because this is a state action, not a federal one. Per the Federal constitution California can mandate that new televisions come with a rubber duckie if they want.

Re:About time... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478233)

California can mandate that new televisions come with a rubber duckie if they want.

Perhaps someone should write to The Govern(er|ator) ?

Re:About time... (1)

colganc (581174) | about 5 years ago | (#29478367)

The government is supposed to protecty my rights. Especially my private property rights.

Re:About time... (2, Insightful)

SuperQ (431) | about 5 years ago | (#29477911)

So I take it you're in favor of leaded gasoline and are opposed to catalytic converters.

Re:About time... (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#29478383)

So I take it you're in favor of leaded gasoline and are opposed to catalytic converters.

No, just slavery, wife beating and the holocaust.

Re:About time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478269)

A standing army isn't in the Constitution, either. But we seem to have one.

Appropriately, my captcha is "rifles".

Re:About time... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 5 years ago | (#29477853)

I think we all deserve better TVs frankly...

Aye, but what we really need be TVs with a "stupidity" dial, matey.

Re:About time... (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#29477991)

I think we all deserve better TVs frankly and I think it is fair to say that the TV industry as a whole has failed to step up. We still have brand new TVs which draw almost as much power "off" as they do turned on with the sound blazing...

I don't know if the manufacturers are shipping vastly different sets to the US compared to the UK, but I tested my own cheap & nasty 6 year old CRT set and it draws hardly anything on standby compared to when it's running.

Re:About time... (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 5 years ago | (#29478111)

I think we all deserve better TVs frankly and I think it is fair to say that the TV industry as a whole has failed to step up. We still have brand new TVs which draw almost as much power "off" as they do turned on with the sound blazing...

Either you don't know what you're talking about or you are lying to push a political position. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you simply know nothing about modern electronics.

First, modern TVs use much less power than older TVs. The move away from CRTs alone made a big improvement (ignoring projection TVs), and even within the CRT space, things improved a lot over the years when they built those.

Second, power consumption when idle is almost invariably a tiny fraction of the active power consumption if you're looking at anything built in the past few years. Anything with the Energy Star logo is required to draw <1W standby, compared with 200W or more for a large LCD set. Even with non-Energy-Star-certified plasma sets, they typically draw low single digit Watts. Either way, there's typically at least a factor of 100 difference in power consumption between standby power and active power consumption in most modern TVs.

So citation needed. Find me a recent TV that draws almost as much power when idle as it does when turned on. The backlight alone for an LCD set is between half and 2/3rds of its power consumption, so good luck.

Re:About time... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 5 years ago | (#29478357)

LCD screens may use less electricity, but Plasma screens use a lot more. Also, screens have got a lot bigger than they used to be, and bigger screens mean more electricity everything else being equal.

Re:About time... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#29478329)

Yes, I too hate the "nanny state" and government intervention but when an industry or consumers fail to act in a responsible fashion at points a government has to step in

At times government regulation is a good thing of course, but I want to point out that your argument here is similar to arguments made for prohibition. Maybe it was a valid argument then too?

Why televisions, though? (1)

melted (227442) | about 5 years ago | (#29477739)

Water heater consumes the most energy in most households. I'm pretty sure it's possible to make it more efficient than it currently is. Same goes for electric heating and air conditioning.

Re:Why televisions, though? (1)

jpkotta (1495893) | about 5 years ago | (#29477827)

There are water heaters that only heat the water as you use it. There is no tank (or it is very small). Obviously, they have high instantaneous power draw and can't keep up if several faucets are using hot water. Also, they are more expensive. I think a better question is why are they focusing on particular appliances? They should only be concerned about the total power usage.

Re:Why televisions, though? (1, Informative)

tftp (111690) | about 5 years ago | (#29477929)

I have a storage water heater (with a 40 gal tank) and it is electrical. However the tank is exceptionally well insulated, so much that the temperature rise in the closet is only a couple of degrees. I think the power leakage does not exceed 20 Watts, judging by comparable power release from electronic equipment in a comparable enclosed volume.

Those 20W of power will add up to (20*24*30/1000) = 14.4 kWh per month. At $0.10/kWh that would cost you $1.44. If you use hot water then that costs extra; the $1.44 number above is only the cost of keeping the water hot.

But a modern TV can draw 60-100W when off. So a single TV will definitely cost more than an idling water heater. Even if you draw lots of hot water the TV can't be ignored.

Re:Why televisions, though? (4, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 years ago | (#29478423)

multiple televisions, one water tank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478529)

But a modern TV can draw 60-100W when off. So a single TV will definitely cost more than an idling water heater. Even if you draw lots of hot water the TV can't be ignored.

And many households have many televisions (and computer monitors), but usually only one hot water tank.

Re:Why televisions, though? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 5 years ago | (#29478667)

But a modern TV can draw 60-100W when off.

Pictures or it didn't happen. The only way that happens in a modern TV is if you set it on fire!

I had a 42" plasma, that was made in 2004. Not even HD ready. At full load, it never peaked above 350W (I used a meter because I was curious) during a two week period. Average when it was turned on was just over 280W. Turned off it drew 6W of power from the socket.

The only thing your TV is doing when it's powered off is powering the power indicator and running a small circuit board to power it back on when the remote is used.

6 to 10W I might buy, but not on a modern TV.

Re:Why televisions, though? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478283)

I think a better question is why are they focusing on particular appliances?

Presumably, they're trying to maximize <Amount-of-power-saving-per-device> x <number-of-devices>

for any class of device. By targeting classes of device, they can achieve a large saving compared to the somewhat more vague 'please reduce your energy consumption'.

Re:Why televisions, though? (2, Informative)

stfvon007 (632997) | about 5 years ago | (#29477867)

The water heater dosnt consume the most energy, If thats the case, why does the apartment building I live in use 30 therms of gas/month in may-october (water heaters for all apartments and cooking for 2 of the 3, and the shared clothes dryer) and ~150/month therms average in nov-apr when the heat is on. I wouldnt call that most of the energy.

Re:Why televisions, though? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 5 years ago | (#29478399)

Europe has been mandating more efficient boilers since about 2005. I would have thought that electric heating is 100% efficient.

CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws... (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 5 years ago | (#29477803)

...for example, motor vehicle emissions laws which allow an officer to stop your vehicle on suspicion that you have non-CARB-certified equipment on your car or if your car is "modified for racing." Apparently CA whalehuggers aren't aware of those of us who like to drive our cars fast...at the racetrack or dragstrip. Or that many car enthusiasts have the best-running (and thus cleanest running) cars on the road, asshats who gut their catalytic converters excepted.

If stopped, you're told to open your hood and allow the inspection. If you refuse, you're immediately arrested, your car is impounded and towed to the nearest CARB inspection facility. You better hope and pray that everything in your engine compartment is original or has a CARB stamp on it or your car (yes, the entire car) will be confiscated and you'll be facing thousands in fines. The CARB stamp is just a massive tax / attempt to discourage aftermarket parts, because it is irrelevant whether the modified car passes emissions standards, and CA charges a fortune to certify parts.

Unreasonable search and seizure anyone? Oh, look, a baby seal. Welcome to the People's Republic of Kalifornia, the most legislated state in the nation, and sadly, that fucks over the rest of us, since product manufacturers don't want to be unable to sell in that market.

Remember the clusterfuck that is MTBE, aka the chemical which reduces smog but pollutes the hell out of groundwater and is a known carcinogen? Guess who we have to thank for that?

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 years ago | (#29478007)

What makes you think any of this is unconstitutional? The constitution places a lot of limits on what the FEDERAL government can do. State governments not so much.

If Californians behaved in a more rational manner less of this nonsense would be needed. Like if you have electricity supply issues build some power plants instead of exporting the electrical supply problem to Texas. If air pollution from burning gasoline is a problem, tax the hell out of gasoline. As far as street racers modding their cars in violation of state laws, cry me a river.

I will be really pissed if this nonsense makes it hard for me to buy a really really big TV next year. Right now I have a 60" set and when I replace it I will be extremely unhappy if I have to downsize when I want to upsize because of some fruit loops living in California who don't want a power plant or transmission line their neighborhood.

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478247)

What makes you think any of this is unconstitutional? The constitution places a lot of limits on what the FEDERAL government can do. State governments not so much.

AFAIK, California is still a member of the U.S. and therefore the 4th [wikipedia.org] would still apply:
In Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961), the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment applies to the states by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Like if you have electricity supply issues build some power plants instead of exporting the electrical supply problem to Texas.

And exactly what kind of power plants do the crazy hippie laws in CA allow?

If air pollution from burning gasoline is a problem, tax the hell out of gasoline.

All you'll do is increase the burden on people who commute to work.
What are the options?
1) Move closer to work?
2) Buy a new car?
3) Public transit?
4) Get a new job?
How many of those are real, viable options for most people?

What we need are LONG TERM solutions to power consumption, we need someone to bite the bullet and finally start building some nuclear plants.
FORGET about gas, once we can convert everyone over to an electric economy run on clean power everyone will switch to EV cars anyway.

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (4, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 5 years ago | (#29478071)

Apparently CA whalehuggers aren't aware of those of us who like to drive our cars fast...at the racetrack or dragstrip. Or that many car enthusiasts have the best-running (and thus cleanest running) cars on the road

Last I checked, you could have the best running car on the road and still get 5 mpg.

I'm sorry that you dislike the penchant for people in California becoming annoyed at your self-righteous pollution of the atmosphere. We all happen to breathe your self-righteous fumes and are unable to jog in L.A. without becoming ill due to fumes such as yours.

If you don't support a strict effort to control such fumes and just don't realize how serious a problem they are, then I suggest you move to one of the many areas in the United States that never takes such things into consideration and you can fumigate yourself all you like.

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478551)

Howdy Captain Cocksucker. How are you doing today? After carefully reading your retort I have concluded that you have failed at something. Do you want to know what that something is? Why of course you do! You failed to comprehend what was written. While the OP did mention that those that tinker with their cars often have cleaner cars as far as emissions go, they did mention there are a few who do not. I guess because of those few, you must believe they all do it.

Because of this, you have three choices:

[ ] .....Allow every rational person on the planet to kick your teeth in every day for being a douche bag.
[ ] .....Have your genitalia removed so that you can no longer procreate (bonus points for throwing any existing children in the mix).
[ ] .....Gently rest your head on the rail road tracks so that a train can decapitate you.

MPG != pollution (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 5 years ago | (#29478611)

Last I checked, you could have the best running car on the road and still get 5 mpg.

Last I checked, miles per gallon has nothing to do with pollution (and CARB stickers on aftermarket engine components don't get better mileage.) Witness cities in the 2nd and 3rd world where mopeds and motorcycles (which are not required to be inspected by CA) fill the air with choking smoke. You could be getting 40MPG and spewing NOx everywhere.

If emissions are so important, why does CA except from emissions testing COMPLETELY: Vehicles made in 1975 or prior, Diesel-powered vehicles (which includes the ENTIRE TRUCKING INDUSTRY), Natural gas powered vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds, Hybrids, Motorcycles, trains, planes? Why aren't airplane emissions regulated? Did you know that a jumbo-jet taking off puts more pollution into the air in one takeoff than many cars will in their entire service life? Airports aren't transportation hubs: they're giant kerosene burners.

I ride my bicycle every day in the city and emotards on their 1970's mopeds are spewing 1000 times more pollution than a car to look trendy and save money on gas, undoing all the work the rest of us are doing to cut our personal emissions. When I ride the subway, I see the commuter line roar by, its diesel engine belching a 3-foot-wide plume of blue diesel smoke..

I drive a car that is actually negative-emissions because its radiator is coated with catalyst. And, it's a heavily modified for performance. It's not CARB legal, despite being negative-emissions, because the company that made my exhaust (which has a catalytic converter) didn't bother to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a CARB stamp. I take public transit to work, use the train to travel when possible instead of fly, and I bicycle 120 miles a week. So don't you fucking lecture me about emissions or saving the environment or the air we share.

And, incidentally, I don't live in CA. I live in a state which proxies their emissions laws off CA, which means I don't have any legislative representation in the matters which affect me as a citizen of a different state.

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (2, Interesting)

Fished (574624) | about 5 years ago | (#29478737)

Am I the only one that finds it a bit ironic that the most polluted states are also the most environmentally conscious? I suppose that the arrow of causation probably goes from pollution towards environmental activism (rather than from environmental activism towards pollution), but STILL. Living in Virginia and looking at how other states do things, I'm often struck by just how hard-nosed and practical Virginia usually manages to be on most of the "core" issues (roads, taxes, regulation)--and how well it usually works. Not that VA is perfect... but compared to California or Massachussets? How can you live in those places?!

Re:CA also has a history of unconstitutional laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478335)

Years ago I had a VW Bug ('72). A common practice was to replace the distributor with the Bosch 009 centrifugal force model. It burned fuel more efficiently so you got better mileage and produced less pollutants. It also gave you a slight performance improvement. In their infinite wisdom, the state of California declared it "performance equipment" and meant an automatic fail for the smog test. So every couple of years I had to yank it and put it the stock distributor just to pass the test.

I've heard they've since legalized the Bosch 009.

What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477809)

So, is there anyone with an electrical engineering degree looking at these standards? Or are the legislators just pulling magic numbers out of their dark orifices and mandating it by law?

What happens when the energy use limitations reach the point which makes a TV cease to function? Or makes it so hideously expensive to produce a TV for the state of California that companies just stop selling in that state?

Re:What happens when... (1)

EsJay (879629) | about 5 years ago | (#29477881)

Like when auto makers pulled out of the California market due to emission restrictions?

Re:What happens when... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29478031)

And look at how great the car companies are doing in the USA! I hear GM, Chrysler and Ford have record profits! Oh wait... Congress "had" to bail them out?... We are in a recession, it makes no sense to increase regulations (and therefore increase expenses) when the average person has a huge cash flow problem. Lets see here, the house you invested in now either might end up being a loss, or at the very least hard to sell today. The stocks you invested in? Most are probably losses if you were to sell them today. If you are going to try to regulate the market (which is a bad idea in and of itself) at least do it in a period of prosperity, that is when people have the money to spend, if the price of goods go up, the average person is going to spend less, the less they spend the worse the economy gets.

Re:What happens when... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 years ago | (#29478065)

Historically, when fuel standards go up, American carmakers whine; Japanese (and European) carmakers just keep doing what they've been doing all along.

Toyota's figured out how to make a car (the Yaris) for under $12000 -- after American tariffs, no less -- that gets ~41-46mpg highway (depending on elevation), goes 100mph without breaking a sweat, handles well, and has plenty of room on the inside for stuff. I think the Europeans are getting well over 50mpg with bog-standard diesels.

Why can't Ford do this?

Re:What happens when... (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29478073)

Why can't Ford do this?

American Unions. Enough said.

Re:What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478713)

You seem to have missed that Toyota has been losing a hell of a lot of money lately. Diesels sold here need a lot of extra (expensive) emissions that are not required in Europe so they would make for a hard sell on a cheap economy car (or lose a lot of money).

Also, @Darkness404 - Ford was never bailed out.

Re:What happens when... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 years ago | (#29477949)

So, I have this eeepc. I don't know exactly how much power the screen itself draws, but I can guess, since the machine draws about ten watts with the screen on at full brightness and six with it off -- so let's say four watts, for a 10" screen. This screen's about the same aspect ratio as a widescreen TV, so no monkey business here. It's been optimized to hell to decrease power usage, obviously, but it hasn't affected the cost much -- the whole computer was $300 or so.

Let's say you want a 40" display. Since area goes as linear dimension squared, if everything scales in the naive way this puts us at 32 watts. If anything this is a conservative estimate, since the 40" display will have fewer pixels than sixteen eeepc screens. Of course, you've got to decode the image, and that requires some computing -- probably no more than 10W for that. Let's say eight watts for sound (since the volume will probably be set at 1W or so, and 12% efficiency seems reasonable), and we're still coming in just at 50W.

Somehow I doubt you can get a 40" television that only uses 50W.

Re:What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478067)

4*16 = 64, not 32. Keeping the rest of your figures gives a total power draw of 82 watts. You also fail to take into account that people sit much farther away from a television than they do from a laptop screen; apparent brightness falls off proportional to the inverse square of distance. And lastly, you fail to take into account the fact that televisions typically allow a higher maximum brightness as an eye-catch for people in electronics stores. I have a Samsung 40" LCD which is rated at about 135 watts; I've measured the power draw in actual usage and it comes out to be under 100 watts.

Re:What happens when... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 years ago | (#29478127)

Thanks on the errant factor of two, this is what happens when I post before coffee.

They don't sit much further away from a television than from a computer when measured in multiples of the display diagonal. If you're going to calculate apparent brightness of the whole display, then you get another factor of r_display^2 that will cancel the factor of r^2 from moving further away. A 10" display viewed from 3' with a given brightness per square cm will have the same apparent brightness to a viewer as a 40" display from 12' away.

So, fixing my fuckup with the factor of two, that puts my back-of-the-envelope math at around 80 watts. It's good to know that your panel is close to that; I'd be interested to see what percentage of TV's are in this neighborhood and what percentage are way above.

Thanks for the math correction, btw.

Re:What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478095)

So, in other words, your half-assed approximation is a half-assed approximation? Great post!!!

Re:What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478323)

So, I have this eeepc.

...

Let's say you want a 40" display.

Just hold the eee closer to your face: same apparent size.

Border fence? (1)

Porchroof (726270) | about 5 years ago | (#29477855)

While the federal is pretending to construct fences along our border with Mexico, do you think it's possible to have fences erected along the California border too?

filthy faggots all need to die (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477857)

faggots are a drain on society. they need to all commit suicide in atonement for what they've done to the decent people. they're useless.

Re:filthy faggots all need to die (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 years ago | (#29478363)

I'm wondering why an article on TVs makes you think of homos. Then again, probably everything makes you think of homos..

Baloney (-1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29477961)

The first standard (Tier 1) would take effect January 1, 2011, and reduce energy consumption by average of 33 percent. The second measure (Tier 2) would take effect in 2013 and, in conjunction with Tier 1, reduce energy consumption by an average of 49 percent.

As has happened before, when the public utilities don't make as much profit because people are using less... The rates will go up. So conservation really doesn't help anyone's pocketbook -- if they're forced on you (like California is doing) you'll be paying twice: Once for the new super-special awesome conservation upgrade, and again in with the rate increase. The greenies don't care if it's uneconomical or completely screws the working class (by placing common household appliances and electronics out of reach due to rising costs), because they can be smugly confident they're "saving the planet" by doing so.

Actions like this harm the working poor, and ultimately provide no benefit to the general population in economic terms, save being able to wear a button saying "I helped save the whales."

Re:Baloney (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29478037)

Exactly, have any of these people of the "green revolution" stopped and looked at the state of the economy? If we are going to "regulate" can we at least do it in a period of prosperity where the average person isn't worrying about being downsized, their retirement funds they invested in the stock market being a net loss, and when the average person can easily sell one of their largest investments (real estate).

Meanwhile, CA unemployment is at 12.2% and rising (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#29478101)

While the California government overlords spend their people's time and money worrying about a few watts of electricity, the unemployment rate in California hit 12.2% and continues to rise [bloomberg.com] . The San Joaquin valley continues to suffer under a drought, but the water that would normally be used to irrigate the crops is being used to protect an endangered minnow [wsj.com] . This has resulted in nearly 40% unemployment in some agricultural communities and will lead to higher food prices for produce across the US -- yet another burden heaped on poor and middle class families.

But they have lots of time to force you to buy more expensive TVs in order to save a couple of watts of electricity.

Maybe Californians (who are not part of the elite, effete ruling class) should consider getting out while they still have something left to bring with them.

You Can Still Order Them Online (2, Interesting)

Game_Ender (815505) | about 5 years ago | (#29478147)

What's being left out is that its not illegal to own such a TV, only sell one in California. This means people who want larger TV's or a better picture at that cost of more energy consumption (like Plasmas) will just buy the TV's out of state through something like Amazon or BestBuy.com.

The only thing the CEC should do, if anything, is mandate labels on the TV's which list the average cost to run each TV. This way consumers could make the choice about which kind of TV to purchase.

So they balance the state budget and then... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 years ago | (#29478787)

...this? Wow, looks like California is trying hard to maintain their reputation as the most dysfunctional state government. Granted, over here in NY state we may still hold the record for the least amount of actual legislation written this year (so far almost none); but at least our government is talking about thinking about proposing to hold meetings about news conferences about talking about proposing to write legislation that spends money looking into our budget problems.

Of course, they'll do that right after they vote themselves a pay raise and have actual meetings about re-gerrymandering their favorite districts.
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