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California Moving Forward With Big-Screen TV Power Restrictions

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the from-my-cold-high-definition-hands dept.

Government 339

Hugh Pickens writes "The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators are poised to pass the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions just as they did with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s. 'We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy,' said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. 'This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs.' California's estimated 35 million TVs and related electronic devices account for about 10% of all household electricity consumption, but manufacturers quickly are coming up with new technologies that are making even 50-inch-screen models much more economical to operate. Sets with screens of up to 58 inches would have until the start of 2011 to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, with more stringent rules being introduced two years later. If all TVs met state standards, California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported."

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I Did Not! (4, Funny)

Hugh Pickens (1657745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776765)

Hugh Pickens writes

I most certainly did not!

Did Too! (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776815)

Hugh Pickens writes

I most certainly did not!

Oh, yes you did!
...get that ID today.

Create More Hobs ??? (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776773)

Where are the jobs going to be created? Best Buy and Walmart. Considering all TVs are now designed and produced overseas I can't see were any jobs would be created?

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (5, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776787)

Where are the jobs going to be created? Best Buy and Walmart. Considering all TVs are now designed and produced overseas I can't see were any jobs would be created?

TV efficiency testers?

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1, Informative)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777053)

More feel-good lefty lunacy from la-la land. It's politically impossible for lawmakers in CA to do anything even slightly unpopular or politically incorrect. Hence their continuing futile attempts to vote themselves into utopia. Next they'll pass legislation mandating Pi to equal 3 so their stupid kids don't have to think too hard. They're broke and instead of cleaning house they're focusing on this crap. Complete and total disaster of a state.

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777269)

Well, Indiana already tried to make Pi 3.2 about 112 years ago. So by that measure they are sliding into the pit at a vastly slower rate then the mid-west, which has a considerable head start. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/805/did-a-state-legislature-once-pass-a-law-saying-pi-equals-3 [straightdope.com]

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777455)

More feel-good lefty lunacy from la-la land.

Maybe so but you better get adjusted to it. Pretty much everything along the lines of this legislation that is pioneered here in California eventually gets adopted by the remaining forty-nine states. Like it or not, sooner or later your state will have similar TV energy efficiency standards in place.

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776827)

Where are the jobs going to be created? Best Buy and Walmart. Considering all TVs are now designed and produced overseas I can't see were any jobs would be created?

Writing regulations, testing for compliance with regulations, putting amusing stickers on compliant units, smuggling noncompliant units into the country, putting forged stickers on noncompliant units, legal actions for flouting regulations, building bigger prisons for incarcerating those who flout the laws, lots of prison guards, parole officers, etc.

All the things the US excels in!

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776917)

Writing regulations, testing for compliance with regulations, putting amusing stickers on compliant units, smuggling noncompliant units into the country, putting forged stickers on noncompliant units, legal actions for flouting regulations, building bigger prisons for incarcerating those who flout the laws, lots of prison guards, parole officers, etc.

Thinking outside the box. That's what makes America great!

Hats off to California, folks.

Err, no don't do that actually. Taking your hat off can lead to cancer and we can't allow that to happen. Anyway, carry on if you can. As long as it is not known to the State of California to perhaps, maybe, possibly, in a few odd instances be incorrectly correlated with cancer and hemorrhoids.

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777223)

Err, no don't do that actually. Taking your hat off can lead to cancer and we can't allow that to happen

whyever not? Causing cancer leads to a few more jobs for doctors and nurses. And a whole load of jobs for insurance salesmen, claims advisors, compliance officers, tribunal clerks, and lawyers. And if there's one other things that America does great, its lawyering! God Bless America (tm, all rights reserved, patent pending).

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777061)

And all those newly surviving people have to eat and live too. So they will buy their stuff at Best Buy and Walmart.

And the circle, as every working system in nature, closes. ^^

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (0)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776943)

I can't see were any jobs would be created?

English teachers. Badly needed.

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777093)

Considering all TVs are now designed and produced overseas I can't see were any jobs would be created?

Which of course has nothing to do with the fact that American companies (for the most part) don't innovate until forced by law (or the market has long passed them by).

Re:Create More Hobs ??? (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777373)

There are plenty of HDTVs produced in the U.S., particularly in CA. Vizio is probably the most recognized one, but there are others.

Misses The Point (4, Insightful)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776781)

We do need to think about our future energy needs both with respect to the environment and energy security. What we don't need is silly government micro management of our lives. So yes that means we need to subsidize nuclear, wind and solar power. The problem is that the greenies block everything. They block nuclear energy and they even block solar energy. Diane Feinstein plans on banning solar panels in the Mojave Desert even though that is one of the best places for them. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/20/MN4T19OTBJ.DTL [sfgate.com] And then the greenies don't want to allow wind power on mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire even though no-one lives on the top of a mountain. They dig their heads on the sand and pretend that with a growing population we can just conserve our way out of this crisis - which is of course way out of reality. Then they try to impose draconian restrictions on the rest of us. I can just imagine the next step - banning video games because of energy use.

Re:Misses The Point (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776807)

They dig their heads on the sand and pretend that with a growing population we can just conserve our way out of this crisis

And to dig your head in the sand and pretend that with a growing population we can just consume our way out of this crisis is any better?

Then they try to impose draconian restrictions on the rest of us.

"Oh no! They're going to outlaw low efficiency TVs when higher efficiency TVs exist!"

The hyperbolic stance of you and your ilk is just as much a problem, perhaps even more so, as the people who oppose any sort of new energy plant. We will need to increase energy production, there's no doubt about that, but we also need to make better use of the energy we already have, there's no doubt about that, either.

So quit being part of the problem. Just because you call out the foolishness from the other side of the debate doesn't excuse *your* foolishness.

Re:Misses The Point (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776915)

It's like anything else, as the energy becomes less available the price goes up and the consumption goes down. Since the gov in that state is already so heavily involved in the energy industry as in every other aspect of life, its hard to take it out overnight but a good first step would be to stop dreaming up inane regulations like this. At least increase taxes on energy so that those who use more have to pay more. What difference does it make if they use it by having an inefficient tv (illegal) or by leaving it on twice as long (legal)?

Re:Misses The Point (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777079)

At least increase taxes on energy so that those who use more have to pay more.

Even under a flat rate scheme, those who use more would pay more. In California, they have a tiered scheme based on the size of your house and energy usage. The first 200 or so kwh/month cost 25/kwh, the next 200 or so cost 75/kwh. California already has some of the highest electricity costs in the nation and a tax scheme like you propose.

Re:Misses The Point (2, Insightful)

arpad1 (458649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776945)

"We will need"? Do you have a mouse in your pocket or did I miss the coronation?

The only thing we need is fewer narrow-nosed, moralizing ideologues who can think of no other explanations for a diversity of opinion then stupidity or insanity and no other solution to the problem of a diversity of opinion but authoritarianism.

Oh, and since you seem to be a bit upset with hyperbole perhaps you could direct your ire at this:

If all TVs met state standards, California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer.

Ooops. That's not just hyperbolic it's hyperbolic and monumentally arrogant. I guess the two together are OK. Carry on.

Re:Misses The Point (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776983)

I didn't see where he stated that we could just consume our way out of this crisis. He stated that the green fanatics think that despite "a growing population" that we can just conserve our way out of this crisis. You went off on the rant about consumption. Efficiency is good but sometimes the loons like to spend billions to save a few thousand dollars. It might not be the case here, I haven't looked at their numbers. Eventually you get to a point where more efficiency becomes prohibitively expensive. Tree huggers for the most part don't seem to believe that.

Re:Misses The Point (2, Insightful)

fredjh (1602699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776817)

Agreed, to a large extent; what surprises me is this:

California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer.

With all of California's power problems, it's incredibly short sighted. Is the population not increasing? Are they not building new homes?

Re:Misses The Point (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776925)

With all of California's power problems, it's incredibly short sighted. Is the population not increasing? Are they not building new homes?

Actually, it looks like California's population decreased last year. We'll see how long it keeps up. Part of the reason stems from the state continually increasing taxes on the well off. Another reason is the increasing difficulty in getting a job in California and running a business in the state (again, taxes). So, while as other posters have said, they can not consume or produce their way out of this mess, they just might be able to tax their way out of it.

Re:Misses The Point (1)

EQ (28372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777069)

Its not just taxes in CA, its the cost of compliance with all the regulations the state government has imposed on top of the Fed's stuff (SarbOx). Forget to dot one i or cross one t, or not be "green" enough, even though you attempt to comply with all of them, the regulators will take your money and put you out of business. The only people making money consistently and routinely in CA are the public union bosses, the lawyers and the politicians.

Re:Misses The Point (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777179)

...it's incredibly short sighted.

That can be cured with medicinal marijuana. They could pass a law requiring TVs to be made from hemp and powered by hacky sack generators operated by the unemployed and prison population. The Governator has puffed [youtube.com] his share, so he should approve.

Utopia!

Re:Misses The Point (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777245)

Legalise LSD, and then you can replace all of those big-screen TVs with a couple of coloured light bulbs...

Re:Misses The Point (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777385)

Agreed, to a large extent; what surprises me is this:

California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer.

With all of California's power problems, it's incredibly short sighted. Is the population not increasing? Are they not building new homes?

You are quite obviously right - if they build a new $600-million natural-gas-fired power plant just for the additional power needed for new inefficient big screen TVs (compared to either the old or new efficient ones), they don't have to worry about any population increase. Not if those people don't use any electricity, or they send storm troopers to smash inefficient TVs and other devices.

Re:Misses The Point (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776871)

I totally agree. Well said.

Green is the new Red. (hammer and sickle)

Re:Misses The Point (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777029)

What we don't need is silly government micro management of our lives.

Yea, we don't need those silly micro-managing environmental regulations. Everyone should have some heavy metal in their water.
Or what about those silly financial regulations. Pah, micro-management restricting my freedom!
Even worse are those assholes who want to micro-manage how I drive! Seatbelts? In my car?

What you call "silly" someone else calls "necessary".
You want less regulation, go look at what the early 1900s were like.
Business was free to form monopolies, food safety was non-existent, toxic chemicals were dumped in every waterway.
Boy, those were the good ol' days when the free market reigned supreme!

Oh wait. Maybe that micromanagement isn't such a bad thing.
I personally prefer my meat without tuberculosis. [wikipedia.org]

New Nevada Stores (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776789)

In an unrelated story, Best Buy and other several home electronics retailers announced plans to relocate stores to Reno and to the I-15 State Line.

How about taking the tvs out of the prisons? That should save quite a bit of electricity.

Idiots (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776791)

Glad i don't live there. ( and hope their stupidity doesn't spread ).

Oh, and i don't even own a big screen tv...

Re:Idiots (5, Insightful)

fredjh (1602699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776833)

The problem is that California is so large, manufacturers are not going to make a CA TV and a rest-of-the-world TV; neither will they stop selling there.

So, the problem is that even if the TV ends up costing only a few dollars more, it costs a few dollars more for EVERYONE.

Re:Idiots (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776897)

Since both permitted and forbidden versions appear to already available, it seems to me that they would keep selling the versions which are forbidden in CA elsewhere, and only sell the more efficient (and more expensive) models in CA.
It all depends on the market size.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776927)

If so, then it will also save emery for everyone, resulting in cheaper energy bills, as well as reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and associated costs.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776929)

How exactly is this going to cost more? The initial cost might be a few dollars more but you save money by using less power. If anything, this should cost less.

From the government point of view, there are already safety regulations so there should be little overhead adding a power efficiency requirement on top of that.

Re:Idiots (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777153)

Well that all depends doesn't it? How much more is the initial cost? How much less power does the device use? We got to have the figures to do the math.

If it's only a few bucks more, we win! (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777045)

From TFA:

The payoff could be big for TV owners, said Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Average first-year savings from reduced electricity use would be an estimated $30 per set.

Now CA's electricity prices are higher than many states, maybe even as much as double. If the TV set costs you "a few bucks more" then you'll come out ahead thanks to the California regulations.

So, to recap: you'll save money, and you'll reduce (unnecessary) demand on the grid which will help prevent building new gas fired power plants. What's the problem again?

Re:If it's only a few bucks more, we win! (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777275)

The problem is why this needs to be legislated. If buying the more efficient TV will save you money, then what's the problem? Instead of this kind of micromanaging, why not enact something like the law we have on this side of the pond which requires electrical goods to be sold with a sticker indicating their energy efficiency rating, which can be used to calculate the total cost of ownership quite easily. You could take this a step further and require each item to be labeled with the cost (at the current electricity cost) of operating it for an hour and for the number of hours it is typically operated in one year.

Re:Idiots (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777409)

The problem is that California is so large, manufacturers are not going to make a CA TV and a rest-of-the-world TV; neither will they stop selling there.

Or they will do what they do with cars, sell the more efficient models they are selling in other countries already (not the US companies of course).

Re:Idiots (3, Informative)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777425)

The problem is that California is so large, manufacturers are not going to make a CA TV and a rest-of-the-world TV;

They do that already for the USA - they make NTSC only 110volt only televisions with crappy connectors for sale in the USA, and NTSC/PAL/PAL60 televisions 100-250volt power with RGB SCART connectors for countries that like colours to be the same from time to time.

(We have to specially import US specification televisions to check how it murders our games' artwork when played over there, and adjust the source artwork to avoid red and yellow).

Perhaps with HDTV they will standardise the models a little more, but it may not be as widespread as you think.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

jcorno (889560) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777183)

Glad i don't live there. ( and hope their stupidity doesn't spread ).

The economics of this situation is more complicated than "costs more money = bad." People don't take energy efficiency into account when they make a big purchase like this. That means it's in the best interest of the manufacturer to save 5 bucks on manufacturing costs, even it means an extra $100 in electricity bills for the consumer. Legislation is the only really effective way to balance out the costs in a case like this, unless you can figure out how to make people pay for the electricity up front.

Re:Idiots (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777317)

Legislation, yes, but not this kind of legislation. If I buy, for example, a fridge or a washing machine in the EU, there will be a sticker like this one [energychoices.co.uk] on the front telling me how energy efficient it is. This tells me how much energy it uses in one year, and I can multiply this by my energy cost per kWh and know how much it will cost me to operate annually. I can then do the same thing with the fridge next to it and see if it's worth buying a slightly cheaper one, and if I buy the more expensive one how long it will take to recoup the price difference. Most electrical goods come with a similar sticker now. No products needed to be banned, you just make consumers aware of the total cost ownership, and the market sorts it out. It's now difficult to find anything new with a poor energy rating because people just don't buy them.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777341)

Why not they make cars and practically anything with a gas engine special for Ca.

Or we can allow capitalism. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776809)

lets see, if the California government gets out of both the energy and consumer appliance size regulation game then capitalism could take over they could possibly build, I don't know, a clean solar power plant out in the Mojave? Maybe even put some wind power in away from the hippies? Then the downward trend of TV power consumption could continue on its current path and there wouldn't be a lot to worry about.

Re:Or we can allow capitalism. (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776831)

Windows Mojave isn't ready for the solar power-plant control servers.

Re:Or we can allow capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776919)

In hippy Mojave, solar server control YOU!

A Government that can... (3, Insightful)

rshol (746340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776813)

...tell you how much electricity your TV set can use or how much water your toilet can use per flush, has the power to do anything.

Re:A Government that can... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776997)

Anything except make healthcare affordable.

Re:A Government that can... (1)

EQ (28372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777111)

Anything except make healthcare affordable.

Oh they can do that. But price controls create shortages, and drop quality. You will not like what's left of the medical system that you can afford, and you'll be lucky to get any care at all.

Re:A Government that can... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777239)

Well, I live in the UK, am British, and owe my life to the lifesaving care of the "medical system I can afford" where I was "lucky to get care".

Fuck price controls - go universal/private hybrid.

Works for me.

Re:A Government that can... (1, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777073)

They can also tell me that I'm not allowed to walk up behind you, put a gun against the back of your head and pull the trigger.

The travesty, the injustice, we demand freedom for the people!

Re:A Government that can... (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777347)

BS

how about doing something about cable / sat boxes (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776823)

how about doing something about cable / sat boxes as well? Why can't they go into a lower power mode / HD spin down when off / not recording something?

Re:how about doing something about cable / sat box (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776911)

It may depend on the box and the provider but a number of cable/sat boxes that I have seen need to be "always on" (i.e. they need to be powered up and receiving signal) so that they can pick up new software updates and possibly also new encryption keys.

Seems like the wrong approach. (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776835)

Mandating low consumption TV sets, or low consumption lightbulbs (here in Finland it's now forbidden to produce incandescent bulbs) is as dumb as mandating low consumption cars. It makes the whole process of enforcement and monitoring more complicated, more expensive and prone to corruption.

The logical and simpler solution is to increase the price of electricity and/or gasoline, to reflect the real cost of the commodity, through taxes. That way, there is a natural economic pressure to decrease the consumption of EVERY appliance. And if someone has the money to pay for the electricity consumed by his/her CRT TV, then let them. Their money can be used to find better sources of abovementioned commodities. I.E. invest in research of algae-produced combustibles.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776885)

You need to mandate disclosure of products' power consumption to consumers as well. If the consumer can't make informed choices, then the market fails. Products almost never indicate their peak consumption, typical consumption, standby consumption, etc.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776905)

If the consumer can't make informed choices, then the market fails

It's worse than that: The corp is a lot more powerful than the consumer, so you need to restrict the corp to let the market work.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776887)

The logical and simpler solution is to increase the price of electricity and/or gasoline, to reflect the real cost of the commodity, through taxes

hey Einstein, how is the consumer going to know how much that shiny new fridge is going to consume ? Without government intervention, he won't be able to tell the difference between a high and a low efficient device ...

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776939)

He reads the manual.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776963)

who makes that manual ? The corp ... that corp can put anything he likes into that manual, if it weren't for government regulation.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777063)

If "the corp" puts shitty information in the manual, people won't like "the corp" anymore.

I agree with you however that forcing companies to disclose the products specs is totally sufficient.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (2, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777339)

Or, he/she reads the efficiency rating on all major electrical appliances that is required in some markets. I moved to Finland almost 10 years ago from the US and I was surprised to see these labels on practically every type of heavy-use electrical appliance, from dishwashers to refrigerators to washers, dryers and AC units. And the energy consumption information (either watts, VA or A ratings) is easily available. The efficiency rating (A-F) is I believe used EU-wide, but I could be wrong. The efficiency rating is not determined by the manufacturer. When I go to buy a new appliance, the first thing I look for is one with an A+ rating to be sure I am getting the most efficient product within that category. Unfortunately, they do not yet apply the rating to TV's, but I believe it is only a matter of time.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777343)

As I posted in another thread, every fridge sold in the EU has a sticker like this one [energychoices.co.uk] on it so you can compare them before buying them. Displaying this information to the customer before purchase is a legal requirement in the EU.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777393)

I know, I'm a big proponent of that. But tell that idea to the Americans here, that you need gov intervention to do such a thing, and it is immediately discarded as 'intrusive' and 'takes away freedoms'.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777345)

hey Einstein, how is the consumer going to know how much that shiny new fridge is going to consume ? Without government intervention, he won't be able to tell the difference between a high and a low efficient device ...

In the UK and Australia at least we've had stickers on the likes of refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers regarding power and (at least in Australia) water consumption. Its a nice simple system based around a 5 star model graphic so most Americans should even be able to understand. Water companies in Australia even provided rebates of something like $250AUD if you bought one of the more efficient washers. So not only saving you in consumption, you got the upfront additional expense back.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777517)

how is the consumer going to know how much that shiny new fridge is going to consume ?

He or she looks at the giant letter [wikipedia.org] on the front of the fridge in the salesroom saying "A++" rated (good) or "E" rated (bad). Requiring information on goodness/badness is not the same as banning bad things. If he or she passed maths class at school he or she could further make calculations based on the actual usage in kWH/year (for a certain climate) printed in slightly smaller print next to the giant letter.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776909)

And what happens to those who can't afford a shiny new low-consumption refrigerator, or can no longer afford to pay their heating bill. You can't just target certain appliances by jacking up power costs, some things (like heat) are necessary and by their very nature consume a lot of power.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (2, Insightful)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776949)

And if someone has the money to pay for the electricity consumed by his/her CRT TV, then let them.

I have a 28" Philips CRT TV. I can't find its papers and I cannot be bothered to look on its back for possible power consumption, but according to this page [sust-it.net] , it shouldn't be using more than 110-120W. There weren't many larger CRTs made due to their sheer weight.

Now play around on that site and check out the power consumption of a 37" LCD [sust-it.net] , which has roughly the same height as my CRT, but is wide-screen. Whoops, the most efficient one is 123W.

The numbers they have on that site probably aren't completely accurate, but CRTs really weren't the power hogs people make them to be. Today's LCD and plasma screens - especially since they come in larger sizes - use a LOT more power than the biggest CRTs in the old days.

Drop down a class (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777209)

I have a 28" Philips CRT TV. Now play around on that site and check out the power consumption of a 37" LCD [sust-it.net] , which has roughly the same height as my CRT, but is wide-screen.

With CRTs, the viewable image is about 1" smaller than the TV's advertised diagonal, so your 28" Philips has a 27" viewable image. Then to get the same image height, you have to multiply by sqrt(16*16+9*9)/sqrt(12*12+9*9) = 1.224, which gives 33 inches. So you probably don't need a 37" class LCD TV; you could do fine with one of the 80 cm TVs that U.S. retailers are selling as 32" class.

Re:Drop down a class (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777493)

You have a very good point there. Still, if we go down to a 32" LCD, the most efficient one - according to that UK site - is at 90W. The LCD in tenth place is already at 110W, which is likely to be around the power consumption of my CRT.

But my point still stands: CRTs really weren't such power hogs. Yes, flat-screen TVs are more power-efficient for a given screen surface, but the difference isn't THAT huge and they tend to use more power, anyway, because of larger screen sizes.

The real problem are huge LCDs and plasmas, which can easily go up to 500W.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777235)

You're comparing a 28" CRT to a 37" LCD. Gee, I wonder why the 37" uses just a few percent more. At least compare it to a 28" LCD to get a good comparison. Comparing one tv to another that has 75% more area without doing any scaling is deceptive. Also, that is peak power consumed, not the average consumed while on. Hell, my 40" LED uses about 85w normally while the power supply is rated for 140w to handle peak loads.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777413)

I have no idea what my 60" Phillips CRT projector draws. Moot point anyway,as TV's over 58" appear to be exempt. Gotta love Craig's list though. Got it for free and all I had to do was clean it, replace the coupling fluid, and do an alignment. Cost me all of $30.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777435)

Cost me all of $30.

And the constant threat of a hernia should you ever need to move it.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777497)

You bet. That was why it was free. Had to get it out of a guys basement. It had been there for 10 years.
It's not bad in the house though. It's mounted on wheels so it's easy to roll around. 2 people can pick it up though. I think it weighs around 150 kilos.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777473)

Now play around on that site and check out the power consumption of a 37" LCD, which has roughly the same height as my CRT, but is wide-screen. Whoops, the most efficient one is 123W.

Definitely out of date. The most efficient current model LCDs, which use LEDs as light sources, not fluorescent tubes like earlier models, are roughly 75w for a 40" display and 100w for ~55" display.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777535)

I have a 28" Philips CRT TV [...] There weren't many larger CRTs made due to their sheer weight.

Boy, you got that right. I have a 36" (91 cm) CRT set and it weighs so much that I need another strong body to help if I need it move it. It must weigh close to 200 pounds (91 kg).

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777551)

I believe most CRTs actually consumed less power in active use than comparable *LCD* sets circa 2007 did. From what I know about electrical engineering, the main culprit was the power supply. CRTs had a fairly small AC-DC power supply, and drew most of their power from a transformer that converted 110VAC/220VAC into a few thousand volts... with relatively high efficiency. In contrast, LCD panels need lots of DC, much of which needs to be tightly regulated. To save money, they often use linear power supplies. Generalizing a bit, a linear supply draws about as many amperes of source voltage as it outputs in target voltage.

Here's an example. Suppose your LCD needs to draw 10 amperes at 5v, and you're feeding it 12vdc that came from a transformer and ran through a diode bridge. It's going to draw at least 10 amperes of 12v at the input end. In contrast, if you're using a more efficient (but slightly more expensive to build) active power supply, you might need ~6-8amperes of 12v input power to supply 5v @ 5A on the output side. CRTs had linear power supplies that were inefficient too, but the power needs of the tuner and control circuitry were pretty minimal, so it didn't matter much. Simply replacing the linear power supply with an active one can dramatically cut the power consumption. It would be insane to spend $25 more on the power supply for a wireless access point that draws ~150mA and sells for $20 on sale right now, but makes quite a bit of sense to do it for a $600 TV that draws hundreds of times more power.

As for the regulation, I think it's heavy handed. California could achieve most of the same benefit, with lower compliance cost, by simply requiring that stores clearly indicate the total amperes the TV draws from 4 hours of continuous use, and the estimated annual cost of that use based on the moving 5-year average price of power in California (with the state publishing the official value to be used for the next 12 months' of calculations each year). Let consumers see that TV A (on sale for $499) will cost them $10/month more to use than TV B (not on sale, $699), enable them to easily determine that TV A will ultimately cost a LOT more than TV B if they keep it more than 20 months, and Adam Smith's invisible hand will do its job just fine.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777163)

The logical and simpler solution is to increase the price of electricity and/or gasoline, to reflect the real cost of the commodity, through taxes. That way, there is a natural economic pressure to decrease the consumption of EVERY appliance.

That is not the logical and simpler solution.
Why? Because California doesn't want to take that extra money and build a powerplant.
Nor do they want to externalize that cost of fixing TVs over [EVERY appliance].
Further, even after [EVERY appliance] is more efficient, the tax still exists.

And seriously, in what world are taxes a "natural economic pressure"?
They're no more or less natural than arbitrary regulation.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777279)

The logical and simpler solution is to increase the price of electricity and/or gasoline, to reflect the real cost of the commodity, through taxes. That way, there is a natural economic pressure to decrease the consumption of EVERY appliance.

Except... that hits different parts of the population massively differently. I don't think it's a good idea to effectively price the poor out of having certain things while letting the rich continue to do anything they want. Economic incentives hit different parts of the population in vastly different ways. Atleast a narrowly defined rule is going to do pretty much exactly what it intends to do.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777333)

It makes the whole process of enforcement and monitoring more complicated, more expensive and prone to corruption.

Evidence of corruption please?
 
 

The logical and simpler solution is to increase the price of electricity and/or gasoline, to reflect the real cost of the commodity, through taxes.

Everytime I hear this, I shudder - because 'real cost' is actually code meaning 'make it expensive, really expensive' as there is no universally recognized method of ascertaining 'real costs', only a bewildering thicket of politically motivated ones.

Re:Seems like the wrong approach. (1)

JacobSteelsmith (911307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777365)

There are households, that do not own a big screen television, that already have trouble paying utilities. Tax credits and discount programs don't usually get the job done.

People's Republic of California (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776837)

Hahaha....Jednak nie chcialbym mieszkac w amerykanskim kolchozie.

power efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776869)

why don't we just ask that all power supplies must have a 90%+ efficiency? at least we'll know we use the electricitym and don't just waste it...

Accelerated OLED panel development? (3, Interesting)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776879)

I think this new law could fast-track the development of larger OLED flat panel TV's.

Since OLED's don't need backlighting, by definition it means very efficient power usage even on flat panel TV's over 50" in size. Don't be surprised that LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony start pouring in billions of dollars in R&D to overcome the current technical issues and get these larger OLED flat panel TV's into production by 2012 at latest. And unlike LCD TVs, OLED TVs will have extremely fast response times, which means no motion blurring issues even with fast action scenes.

Re:Accelerated OLED panel development? (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776937)

My 30-second google research also says that the contrast will be better

The Governator... (3, Funny)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776889)

...is BACK,

and he saw himself on a 50 inch TV and thought - "too much detail", ban all 50" inch TV's, I got to look good on TV.
(Spoken with Arnoldish accent of course) ;)

How about instead (1, Insightful)

jwbales (92374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776921)

Instead of banning power hungry appliances, what if the commissars passed a regulation that citizens of California not buy anything that they cannot afford to operate. Oh, but wait. Most people do that anyway.

OK, since no one really needs commissars to tell them how to run their lives, why don't they just go away and leave us alone. Then if California needs more power generation capacity, someone will provide it, unless some meddlesome commissar gets in the way.

Re:How about instead (2, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777185)

heh...you must think it's a free country!

Re:How about instead (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777363)

Or another Enron?

I wonder if California is bankrupt because of thes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776941)

I wonder if California is bankrupt because of these "regulators".

Re:I wonder if California is bankrupt because of t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777259)

No.

California's insane ballot initiatives and the 2/3rds requirement in the Legislature are one problem. Any change in tax policy is held hostage by one or two insane "conservative" state legislators.

California's three-strikes rules mean that the prison system costs the state 10 billion dollars, roughly half of the state's deficit. Even at that level, it is underfunded for the size of the prison population (conditions in California's prisons are still constitutionally inhumane).

California's economic productivity consistently ranks in the top three among the states. Also, among states, it is one of the top net contributors to federal coffers. In other words, it funds libertopian states like Alaska.

The problem is the right wing in the California; demagoguery in ballot initiatives, theocratic demands in the legislature, and right realist philosophy in criminal justice.

Wondering is fine, but you need to follow it up with real data.

Re:I wonder if California is bankrupt because of t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777531)

I thought three strikes was only for "violent" felonies while half the prison population is there for nonviolent sale and possession of drugs.

End Prohibition Now!

Ban tumble dryers instead? (2, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777043)

Is it true that in some parts of California it's illegal to dry your laundry outside? That in parts of a state that is predominantly hot and dry the only legal way of getting your clothes dry is to heat them and rotate them in a sealed metal drum?

Compare with TV usage here:

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/energyconsumption.html [carbonfootprint.com]

It's a bit less than a big TV, but if you've got free air drying outside your door, you can use it for zero-carbon, zero-cost drying. Except of course all that laundry flapping around is going to bring down the price of houses in the neighborhood, because prospective buyers will think you're all too poor to afford dryers. Conspicuous consumption at its most brillant.

[Or at least that's the reason I understand for outside laundry lines]

Re:Ban tumble dryers instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777171)

I doubt illegal per say. But Many communitys have it banned due to cosmetic reasons. Condos. even some subdivisioned nieghbor hoods/gated communitys.

Re:Ban tumble dryers instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777329)

not illegal, but perhaps prohibited by a contract that came with the house (Called a CC&R: Conditions, Covenant & Restrictions) or by the landlord. Typically these rules are instituted by the original developer to maintain a more consistent "look" in a group of homes they are building, and once the restriction is in place, difficult to remove.

Same sort of thing has rules to prevent parking your car on your lawn, painting your house pink with purple polka dots, etc

Re:Ban tumble dryers instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777403)

In Sydney, Australia it is illegal in most apartment blocks also because of the danger of something falling, but also the unsightliness of seeing your neighbours underwear from the street. I fully support this, and although I live in an apartment myself I still use an internal drying rack to dry most of my stuff all year around. I probably only have to resort to the dryer about 4 times per year. Americans are going to have a shock when their 'god given right' to cheap energy disappears because as dollar becomes rightly so much more weaker.

Re:Ban tumble dryers instead? (1)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777611)

When drying clothes, I used tojust use a 50 watt pedestal fan pointed at a clothes horse in my lounge (preferably with the windows open and the sun shining, blowing perpendicular to the shirts), not being one of those fancy pants people with gardens :-)

It gets clothes dry quickly and they get less damaged I think.

Outlaw everything (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777315)

Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported.

Imagine how much would be saved if California simply outlawed all TVs.

Why are they legislating this? (2, Informative)

Zarf_is_with_you (1382411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777335)

Really how low can the energy requirements go?

I have a old TV I rarely use in thing its a about 20 inches I have had it since 1995 it still works fine. I noticed that it says it requires over 600watts!

I have a Rear projection TV that I purchased in about 2001 43 inch, it only requires 480 on surge to startup and it looks less than 190 watts to run.

I ran it off a Voltage inverter and a car battery during long winter blackout, I never gave a second thought to how much power the TV used and I was VERY surprised and thankful at how little it did use during that time of emergency.

I have new a 24 inch HD LCD monitor I have never seen anything so clear and bright and sharp and the bonus is that it draws about <65watts!

Why are they legislating this?

When things are already moving in the correct direction, how much lower can you go?

Government Control...same as it ever was, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777595)

Just the latest example of where Government creates a problem where it didn't exist before in order to propose a solution which nets them more control/power. The Government mandated the switch to digital TV (SD/HD widescreen) and large formats from the lower power consumption CRT analog format. As usual they didn't think past their asses as to what the consequences would be. Now suddenly their prior mandates are bad and must be changed to "save the world" (sarcasm free of charge). All Government regulation is for one purpose and one purpose only - to grow Government and Government Control and Power. I can't wait for the revolution to begin (no sarcasm intended).

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