California Demands TVs Suck Down Less Power

Love the Earth? Sure, we all do--after all, we live here. Love it enough to throw out your current TV and buy one that meets heightened energy requirements? Um....

Just this week California regulators adopted the "nation's first energy-efficiency standards for televisions," with hopes of reducing energy drain during a period where many Americans are looking to buy larger, more energy-dependant sets. Of course, the Golden State has always been one to watch energy usage, and the 5-0 vote by the California Energy Commission isn't all that surprising.

Reportedly, the new rules will be phased in starting in 2011, and given that California residents purchase around 11% of the TVs sold each year in America, this ruling could have a serious impact. When the rules go into effect, all new 42" sets sold in the CA must use less than 183 watts, and less than 116 watts by 2013. Wondering just how wild that is? A sample 42" Hitachi plasma that was sold in 2007 uses 313 watts, while a 42" Sharp LCD drew 232 watts.

This obviously means that television makers will be forced to really take a good, hard look at power consumption, and of course it could end up costing consumers more as they shoulder some of those R&D costs. Oh, and there's also nothing stopping you from heading over to Nevada or ordering a set online, so many are saying these wild new rules will only hurt California's own economy. Needless to say this is bound to be a hot topic, particularly if this idea spills over to other states.