Northwest leads charge for greener TVs
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
A Northwest-led effort to get retailers to stock and promote more energy-efficient televisions got a boost from a recent decision by the Federal Trade Commission to require electronics manufacturers to use "EnergyGuide" labels that tell consumers the TV's estimated annual energy needs.
The new labeling, which will be required starting in 2011, is designed to make it easier for consumer to compare television models based on how much impact they're likely to have on electricity bills.
"It's so confusing for consumers right now," said Stephanie Fleming, senior manager of Portland-based Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's residential sector. "People assume that when they buy a thinner TV, it will be more energy efficient. That's not necessarily the case."
NEEA has been working with utility and retail partners, including Sears, Wal-Mart, Costco, Kmart, Sam’s Club and others, on an "Energy Forward" campaign that encourages clear labeling of television energy needs, an effort that informed the FTC's recent decision.
NEEA estimates that television viewers in the Northwest consumer 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year. If they all switched over to the energy-efficient models endorsed by the Energy Forward campaign, Fleming estimates it would save enough energy to power all the homes in Seattle and Spokane for an entire year.
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