Ontario reviews flat-screen TV standards
Ontario will consider revising its standards for flat-screen televisions now that California has moved to ban power-hungry sets from its store shelves, Energy Minister Gerry Phillips said Thursday.
"We're always looking at where we need to improve the standards in appliances. That's just part of the way that we save energy, so I would think this would be one of the things that would be on our plate," said Phillips.
"This is one of the things that is increasing energy demand."
Phillips warned not to expect any decisions in the immediate future, however, because it will take several months to review the energy consumption of all sorts of appliances.
He will also take a closer look at California's new rules before moving forward, but expects changes could be well-received.
"People are increasingly conscious of where they're using electricity," he said.
"I suspect they're not as familiar with the flat-screen TVs as they should be but I suspect they will be in the future."
The California Energy Commission voted Wednesday to update standards for the television industry, which is increasingly focused on flat-screen, high-definition sets.
Those new standards, to be phased in 2011, will apply to new televisions measuring up to 58 inches (147 centimetres).
TVs use estimated 10% of home electricity
The California commission said it estimates TVs account for about 10 per cent of a home's electricity use — a figure that could grow as people buy bigger TVs and watch them for longer periods of time.
The average plasma TV uses more than three times as much energy as an old cathode-ray tube set, while liquid-crystal display, or LCD, televisions use about 43 per cent more energy than tube sets.
Some manufacturers have warned that the regulations could cripple innovation and limit consumer choice, or force manufacturers to make TVs with poorer picture quality.
But proponents hope the move will lead the way in a general reform of standards for the industry since California represents such a big consumer market.
It was that state's tough fuel standards for cars and trucks forced automakers to produce more efficient models for all of the U.S.