California state regulators want retailers to sell only the most energy-efficient LCD and plasma sets starting in 2011. But the consumer electronics industry, which warns of higher prices, is against the new rules, which are expected to pass in mid-2009, Los Angeles Times reports.
Some manufacturers say they could struggle to meet the new regulations and that the new standard could create a “gray” market, which sends consumers to Internet retailers based outside the state.
The California Energy Commission says the standards, once fully in place, would cut the state’s annual energy needs by an amount equal to that consumed by more than 86,000 homes; and help relieve the strain on the power grid.
The regulations are expected to be phased in over two years, with the first tier taking effect on Jan. 1, 2011, and a more strict second tier on Jan. 1, 2013. The Energy Commission estimates that buyers of tier-1 compliant TVs would save an average of about $18.50 off their residential electric bill in the first year. Tier 2 sets are expected to save about $12 a year.
Although awareness of “green” consumer electronic offerings lags behind sectors like household products and automobiles, 33 percent of consumers say they expect to make some type of green CE purchase within the next two years, according to data released by the Consumer Electronics Association.