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article imageEPA hints at new regulations for the 'supersized' TV

By Tylor Sweeney     Sep 9, 2009 in Technology
What size TV do you have to have before your TV is just too big? How much energy does a TV consume in a year in the US? Well, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says (a) 50 inches and (b) 4%.
"There are about 275 million TVs currently in use in the U.S., consuming over 50 billion kWh of energy each year - or 4 percent of all households' electricity use. This is enough electricity to power all the homes in the state of New York for an entire year," according to the Energy Star program, a joint effort of the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star, which sets the standard for energy efficiency ratings on consumer products, is saying that televisions will have to become more efficient in order to meet new standards and earn the Energy Star sticker, which is generally considered the universal symbol for energy efficiency.
For a company's product to register, it must meet new standards by May 2010, and even stricter standards two years later. The Energy Star Version 4 sticker, the upcoming standard, will require 40% increased efficiency, while the Version 5 standard will require 65% greater efficiency over TVs sold today. These new requirements generally put restrictions on when the TV is in use and when it is in standby (download programming information, etc.).
"EPA has decided to proceed with a requirement that TVs greater than 50 inches in size meet the same On Mode requirements as a screen of 50 inches - 108 watts," Katharine Kaplan, spokeswoman for the EPA's Energy Star program, said in her cover letter (PDF) to the version 4.0 and 5.0 technical specifications for manufacturers.
Kaplan and the Energy Star program, through these changes,are basically saying that anyone who feels it necessary to purchase a TV larger than 50 inches is being a little greedy. Since Energy Star is devoted to efficiency, they are not going to condone the glamorous purchase with a sticker, no matter how comparatively efficient the TV is with similar sets.
"The issue in this case is what TV sizes can the federal government credibly designate as preferable from an energy and environmental perspective. This has become an important issue as the sizes of TVs and energy use continue to grow," Kaplan said.
More about Television, Epa, Energystar
 
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