The California Energy Commission is considering a proposal by PG&E to require televisions sold in the state to meet a minimum efficiency standard. Why is a utility proposing its customers by more efficient appliances? Because California allows utilities to earn a return on investment from negawatts (see Energy efficiency, Part 4).
PG&E’s proposal begins by plotting the power consumption (in Watts) of existing TVs against screen size and finding a linear fit. They then look at the most efficient (least power consumption) at a given size, and propose a cut-off formula based on screen size:
|Native Vertical Resolution||Tier 1: Effective 2011||Tier 2: Effective 2013|
|‰¤480 (i.e. non-HD)||PMAX = 0.12*A + 25||PMAX = 0.12*A + 25|
|>480 (i.e. HD)||PMAX = 0.20*A + 32||PMAX = 0.12*A + 25|
California has kept its per-capita power consumption flat since the late 1970s. Appliance efficiency standards (Title 20) have been one component of its tactics.
The expected power savings are large. Today’s average 38-inch LCD draws 175W, but this would fall to 125W in 2011, and 103W in 2013. (125W would be low enough that you could power your TV with a Pedal-A-Watt.) Statewide the savings are significant:
|For First-Year Sales||After Entire Stock Turnover|
|Scenario||Coincident Peak Demand Reduction (MW)||Annual Energy Savings (GWh/yr)||
|Annual Energy Savings (GWh/yr)|
|Tier 1 and 2 combined||56||593||615||6,516|
The Consumer Electronics Association has submitted a counter-proposal to the CEC. They would substitute labeling and an educational campaign for efficiency standards.