It's the home of the big screen, but it seems California doesn't want people to take that big screen experience into their homes with a new bill that bans power-hungry televisions.
In a bill passed on Wednesday, the California Energy Commission has voted to adopt an energy efficiency standard for televisions that forces manufacturers to abandon non green-performing televisions.
"When these standards are implemented in 2011, new TVs sold in California will be the most energy efficient in the nation. After ten years, the commission estimates the regulations will save $8.1 billion in energy costs and save enough energy to power 864,000 single-family homes", the commission said in a statement.
According to the California Energy Commission, the new technology neutral standards mandate states that new televisions sold in California should consume 33% less electricity by 2011 and 49% less electricity by 2013.
The standards affect only those TVs with a screen size 58 inches or smaller. For example, a 42-inch screen would consume 183 watts or less by 2011 and 115 watts or less by 2013.
Pacific Gas & Electric estimates that over a decade the standards will reduce CO2 emissions by 3 million metric tons.
However, consumer electronics groups are worried that the move will force them to be less adventurous in the models they create.
"CEA is extremely disappointed in the CEC’s decision to regulate TV energy use. Simply put, this is bad policy—dangerous for the California economy, dangerous for technology innovation and dangerous for consumer freedom", said Jason Oxman, CEA’s senior vice president of Industry Affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association. "Instead of allowing customers to choose the products they want, the Commission has decided to impose arbitrary standards that will hamper innovation and limit consumer choice. It will result in higher prices for consumers, job losses for Californians, and lost tax revenue for the state".
The Energy Commission claims however, that "More than 1000 TV models on the market today already meet the 2011 standards and cost no more than less-efficient sets".
The regulations do not affect existing televisions that consumers already own or the TVs currently on retail store shelves, the commission has said.
California buys around 10% of all televisions in the US suggesting that manufacturers, rather than creating different models for the state, will simply adopt the new energy standards throughout the States.
The CEA, who hold the annual CES technology convention each year in Las Vegas, has said it will “continue to pursue legislative and legal solutions to ensure that California citizens will not suffer the consequences of this misguided policy".