Televisions consume about 4 percent of household electricity nationally, and the modern flat-panels are especially energy-intensive. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) models require 43 percent more power than conventional tube TVs, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In part, that’s because modern TVs are simply bigger. And in the age of near limitless cable programming, they also tend to be turned on more often — and left on longer.
Still, new standards for television efficiency are coming into place. California regulators are drafting rules mandating that retailers stock only the most energy-efficient TVs, according to The Times. The program would start in 2011, with a more stringent standard coming into effect in 2013.
The proposal is running into resistance from the Consumer Electronics Association and other industry representatives. One retailer told the Los Angeles Times that efficiency standards would “kill dealerships,” because Californians would search the Internet for less-efficient TVs, and get them shipped into California.
Obama’s pick to lead the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, is on record supporting past energy efficiency mandates, so I would expect a nationwide TV mandate would be more likely.