On November 1, Energy Star will officially launch its revised specification for TVs, version 3.0, which promises to significantly reduce power consumption. After that date, TVs must meet the new spec to carry the Energy Star logo.
It may come as a surprise that prior to the new spec, TVs were only tested in standby mode (plugged in but turned off) to comply with Energy Star. The TVs were never turned on for the test, and the only thing that qualified them for the logo, since 2005, was the ability to draw less than a watt when turned off.
Standby testing is important, of course--TVs, even in America, spend more than 80 percent of the time turned off--but by early this year the majority of TVs on the market have standby draws of less than a watt, which is insignificant considering how much power they draw when turned on.
Version 3.0 finally institutes standards for "power on" certification, and judging from the extensive list of supporting documents at Energy Star's official site, settling on a spec was a long and contentious battle. But now that the spec is in effect, TV power consumption in "power on" mode will lilkely fall across the board. The key, as usual, is in the details of the spec.… Read more