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Television energy consumption ratings ‘are flawed’

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S. based environment advocacy group, is claiming that energy efficiency ratings on televisions are flawed and are presented in a way that is likely to mislead consumers. The NRDC today has 2.4 million members and online activities nationwide.

The group is claiming that many sets, from several manufacturers, are designed to perform well in government tests (to meet energy regulations); however, when used regularly in the home, the sets use far more energy to the extent that they break the regulations. Sometimes energy consumption is twice that of the expected level. This includes, according to the group, Samsung, LG, and Vizio television sets.

In a statement, Noah Horowitz, senior scientist and director, Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, NRDC, indicated: “It appears that some major manufacturers have modified their TV designs to get strong energy-use marks during government testing but they may not perform as well in consumers’ homes.” To get round the tests, NRDC claim that many sets have their screens dimmed.

He also added: “These ‘under the hood’ changes dramatically increase a TV’s energy use and environmental impact, usually without the user’s knowledge. While this may not be illegal, it smacks of bad-faith conduct that falls outside the intent of the government test method designed to accurately measure TV energy use.”

In the full report, NRDC reveal, based on independent tests conducted by Ecos Research, that televisions manufactured by Samsung, LG, and Vizio use up to twice the energy that consumers were told. The additional electricity consumed over the 10-year lifetimes of certain size televisions “would be enough to power every home in Los Angeles for a year and would create an additional five million metric tons of the carbon pollution fueling climate change.”

NRDC also recommend, as reported by the BBC, that the U.S. government tests be upgraded. For example, some features of the latest models of television, such as high dynamic range (HDR) video, are not included among the tests performed.

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