Arlington, VA – 08/31/2011 – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®
highlighted the industry’s energy efficiency achievements and initiatives during a public workshop held today by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to consider regulation of additional consumer electronics products. Recently, a CEC staff draft report on energy efficiency and buildings indicates the CEC is moving forward with new regulations for a variety of product categories.
The CEC appears to be following a familiar path toward creating unnecessary and unjustified regulatory requirements for consumer products while failing to account for the energy savings of existing policies and programs,” said Douglas Johnson, CEA vice president of technology policy. “Particularly in California, which already suffers from high unemployment and a burdensome regulatory regime that harms job and economic growth, the focus should be on recognizing and supporting existing, successful approaches to advancing energy efficiency that protect innovation, competition and consumer choice.”
Earlier this year, the CEC’s regulation for televisions took effect, despite the fact that significant energy savings in televisions had already been achieved as a result of industry innovation, competition and the ENERGY STAR program at the national level, which the CEC does not recognize. Research commissioned by CEA has found that innovation, competition and ENERGY STAR have reduced the amount of power needed per unit of screen size 63 percent for LCD TVs from 2003 to 2010 and 41 percent for plasma TVs from 2008 to 2010. To put the gains in context, the power consumption of the average TV sold in 2010 consumes less energy than a 100 watt incandescent light bulb and less power than what is needed to light a typical living room.
Recently, a paper in the California Journal of Politics & Policy, authored by C. Paul Wazzan and Dawn E. Eash of the Berkeley Research Group, found the CEC made many errors, including wrongly assuming that more TVs being purchased meant more energy consumption. Due to consumers replacing older TVs with newer, more efficient TVs, the paper concluded energy costs would remain constant over time. Moreover, the researchers questioned the data, math and analysis the CEC used in arriving at its TV energy efficiency mandate.
“The CEC enacting more onerous and misguided efficiency rules based on faulty assumptions and data not only harms local businesses and consumers, it also does not genuinely contribute to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals,” Johnson added. “We urge the CEC and other policymakers to recognize, account for and support existing policies and programs that are already in place and working to deliver ever more energy efficient electronics to consumers.”