Challenges and Barriers to Adoption

An emerging technology: an 11-inch OLED TV screen
An emerging technology: an 11-inch OLED TV screen

While Energy Star televisions have been very successful, with 470 qualified models from all of the major manufacturers, some barriers to adoption still remain. Additionally, with Energy Star and California state standards set to become more stringent by 2011, manufacturers will have to continue to develop their products to meet the new performance requirements.

Because the Energy Star specifications limit overall power consumption, some of the more full-featured televisions may have difficulty qualifying. Additionally, the measures taken to reduce power consumption can also increase price; even though Energy Star televisions will save on energy bills for their full lifetimes, the higher purchase cost can discourage some consumers.  However, with the new California regulations all TVs less than 58 inches will need to comply with the Energy Star standard by 2011, which will dramatically increase adoption both in California and nationwide.

The largest screen sizes, which tend to be full-featured and power-hungry plasma TVs, can find Energy Star qualification particularly difficult. Since larger screen sizes are a fast-growing market, this is an important challenge for the Energy Star program. However, there is progress. Panasonic, for example, recently demonstrated a plasma TV that uses just one-third as much power as their 2007 models.

While significant challenges remain, Energy Star qualified televisions are nevertheless mainstream products. With the new California regulations in place there is a significant opportunity for early adopters to start saving now as they replace their old CRTs and purchase new flat screen TVs.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sony Electronics, Inc.; Sony XEL-1

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