On October 24, ENERGY STAR released its revised final draft specification for the latest ENERGY STAR requirements for TVs, and the CTA was quick to release a statement criticizing the new proposed standard. ENERGY STAR certification is an optional but coveted stamp of approval for TVs and other electronic devices. Currently, a TV has to meet certain energy-savings goals as it comes out of the box, which is why most TVs default to a specific energy-savings picture mode (often called Standard) in which an automatic brightness control is engaged. According to the CTA's statement (printed in full below), implementation of the new Version 8.0 spec would mean that "nearly all preset picture settings in TVs will include Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) and any other energy-saving feature enabled by default. If ABC is enabled by default in all preset picture modes, these modes will look very similar and, more troubling, negatively impact the consumer experience."
Statement From CTA
The following statement is attributed to Douglas Johnson, vice president of technology policy at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding the ENERGY STAR Televisions Version 8.0 Final Draft Specification released today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
"EPA's proposal to mandate energy-savings features in all preset picture modes would put EPA in the business of control, deciding how consumers receive and use technology. EPA's new proposed ENERGY STAR specification for TVs means the American living room would look a little more like how the government thinks it should--but not what's best for consumers.
"The EPA's latest proposed ENERGY STAR specification for TVs means nearly all preset picture settings in TVs will include Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) and any other energy-saving feature enabled by default. If ABC is enabled by default in all preset picture modes, these modes will look very similar and, more troubling, negatively impact the consumer experience.
"EPA's action speaks to the importance of pursuing reforms and improvements concerning the ENERGY STAR program, of which CTA has been a strong supporter for many years.
"TVs are an energy efficiency success story, and industry innovation--not uninformed government regulation--is the driver and greatest asset we have to consistently improve their energy efficiency."
This year, CTA released a new study confirming significant energy savings achievements in TVs during the past dozen years. While today's LCD televisions have increased in size and resolution capabilities--they look better and can do more than ever--they consume 76 percent less energy on a unit area basis than they did in 2003.
• Visit EnergyStar.gov for more information on the EnergyStar program and products.
You can see the specific ENERGY STAR Version 8.0 Specification here.