New Energy Star Requirement Dumps Your Giant Plasma
Energy Star, that famed energy efficiency specification that has consumers considering how much energy will be burned by their new giant-screen HDTV has upped the its standards once again. A joint program from the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Star compliance label on consumer goods is designed to save energy, reduce greenhouse emissions and money through compliance to energy saving practices. Energy Star says it’s been a highly successful campaign claiming that in 2010 alone, it saved consumers some $18 billion in electricity costs and prevented the equivalent of 33 million cars worth of greenhouse gasses.
Energy Star is a progressive energy consumption specification, designed to increase the demand for energy efficiency from consumer electrical devices. The old specification, 4.2 has been around since April 2010 but the new spec, which comes into effect October 2011 is strictest increase in efficiency yet. This time around Energy Star has imposed a hard cap of 108-watts for any television regardless of screen size. Less energy efficient display types such as those large plasma, some DLP and non-LED LCD sets will find they’re no longer qualified to bear the Energy Star logo.
The average TV-set must be up to 40-percent more energy efficient to qualify for the new 5.3 requirement, with larger screens in the 60-inches and above will need to be on average at least 60-percent more efficient. Check the Energy Star compatibility list to see if your next TV purchase will make the cut.
The EPA halted certification on new TVs that only met the 4.2 requirement since May, 2011. So, there might be some 2011 models that are labeled as qualifying for Energy Star compliance on store shelves but for what it’s worth to you - in reality they are not actually compliant by the new spec.
So, what’s the big deal? Does anyone actually care about Energy Star compliance when they buy a new HDTV?
Cnet measured the energy efficiency of many popular television models and found that the average household TV is "on" for about 5 hours per-day and if your set burns 119 watts, the average cost is about $26.18 per-year where you pay 11.55-cents per kw/Hr. That’s hardly going to break your bank.
But Energy Star and the EPA looks at it this way. Sets are getting more efficient, but they’re also getting larger. In fact, Energy Star says 19-million TV will ship this year that are greater than 40-inches. If TVs met Energy Star compliance Americans would save $4-billion annually on energy costs and reduce the same amount of greenhouse gases as 5-million cars.
If Energy Star is, at the very least, influencing purchases enough to reduce the power consumption of the average TV set – it’s done a good job at putting a significant dent in greenhouse gas emissions.