An Energy Star qualified television in the home
An Energy Star qualified television in the home


Energy Star qualified televisions have the potential to significantly reduce California's electricity consumption, saving about 19% - and sometimes 40% or more - of television energy use. With televisions ubiquitous in our society - in homes, restaurants, gyms, hotels, malls, and just about everywhere else - this is a huge opportunity. If Californians with older CRTs in their homes choose Energy Star televisions when they upgrade to flat screen TVs, that application alone will save enough energy (700 Gigawatt-hours per year) to power nearly 120,000 households.

All of the major television manufacturers now have Energy Star qualified models. In fact, some even beat the Energy Star standards by as much as 25%. Taking into account the continual improvements in the electronics industry, the Energy Star program plans to increase its standards in late 2010. California has also decided to implement television energy efficiency standards, requiring all televisions sold in the state to be Energy Star qualified by 2011.

But the benefits of Energy Star televisions are not limited to energy savings. For example, prior to the Energy Star program, most televisions were shipped with very high brightness levels, so they would stand out in a store display. However, this level of brightness can cause eye strain, rapidly wears out TV components, and can result in poorer picture quality. Now, Energy Star models are shipped with two modes - home mode and store mode - so that when you set up your TV, it defaults to the lower brightness and contrast levels appropriate for home use. Some televisions even come with automatic brightness and contrast adjustment, dynamically adjusting to provide the best picture quality at any lighting level. The result is a more comfortable, higher quality viewing experience, as well as a longer-lasting television.

California just passed its television regulations in November 2009 and the Energy Star standards also came into effect recently, in November 2008. Nevertheless, this is a technology that is already mainstream - delivering energy savings, greater viewing comfort and quality, and a longer product life.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sharp Electronics Corporation; Sharp AQUOS LC-42D85U

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