Old Argument, New Twist

tvTelevision sets use about 4% of household power nation-wide, and the newest flat screens are even bigger power suckers — LCD screens use 43% more power than the old tube TV models.  Despite this situation, government efficiency testing standards for televisions haven’t been updated since Leave It to Beaver appeared in black and white.  Energy Star, a voluntary labeling system developed by the EPA, uses modern efficiency tests, but Energy Guide, the mandatory Department of Energy labeling program, still uses standards from the era of Lucy and Ricky in separate twin beds.

In order to confront this problem, California has once again stepped to the forefront.  According to Kate Galbraith at Green, Inc:

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.

Industry, of course, objects:

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.

I’m sorry, but that argument is completely ridiculous.  And I’ve heard it before.  Remember when the auto industry resisted efficiency measures and stricter environmental standards that would have forced them to create a better product, and then foreign companies did just that and stole all their business?  And then domestic auto companies couldn’t keep their businesses afloat anymore and had to ask the government for a bailout? I remember that, because it just happened.

I’m really tired of industry bellyaching about efficiency and environmental standards that would make them create better products.  All this California amendment would say is, we want our consumers to be provided the most innovative, efficient products on the market.  There are already over 100 models that would keep up with their proposed standards.  Industry reps are just upset that their inefficient, energy sucking TVs won’t make the cut.  Sorry, but it isn’t California’s fault you created a sub-par product.