Editor's Note: We should have federal regulations on energy-using devices, but I know that's not going to happen. This is a follow-up to an earlier Efficiency Zone editorial.


The California Energy Commission proposes to make changes to the Appliance Efficiency Standards contained in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 20, Sections 1601 through 1608. The proposed energy efficiency standards would cover new televisions offered for sale in California beginning in 2011 and 2013. The standards would improve the energy efficiency of televisions without affecting the quality of the television.

In California, televisions (along with DVRs, DVD players, and cable/satellite boxes) now consume about 10 percent of a home's electricity. Increasing sales of flat screen televisions, larger screen sizes, the growing number of TVs per household, and increased daily use of televisions all contribute to greater electricity consumption.

The proposed standards have no effect on existing televisions. If approved, they would only apply to TVs sold in California after January 1, 2011. The first standard (Tier 1) would take effect January 1, 2011, and reduce energy consumption by average of 33 percent. The second measure (Tier 2) would take effect in 2013 and, in conjunction with Tier 1, reduce energy consumption by an average of 49 percent.

The technology to make TVs more energy efficient is available now and currently used now in a variety of models. As of the summer of 2009, early 850 models already meet the 2011 standard; and of those, 231 models meet the 2013 standard.

In its April 2, 2008, Scoping Order (PDF file), the California Energy Commission's Efficiency Committee established the scope of Phase I of the 2008 Appliance Efficiency Rulemaking regarding possible amendments to the Appliance Efficiency Regulations (Title 20, California Code of Regulations, Section 1601 through Section 1608). Phase I was initially divided into two separate, concurrent rulemakings, Part A and Part B. Later that month, the Committee established a pre-rulemaking proceeding ( Part C - docket # 07-AAER-3C ) to consider televisions and any additional topics separately.

The Committee conducted a public workshop on July 16, 2008, to seek comments from interested parties regarding possible appliance efficiency standards for televisions. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) submitted written proposals for consideration.

Energy Commission staff released a report in December 2008 proposing draft efficiency standards. Download it from the documents page of the 2008 rulemaking section. This report examines draft standards for televisions in both active and standby modes, preemption issues surrounding the current federal test method for televisions, and recent market and test data. The Efficiency Committee on December 15, 2008, held a public workshop on the staff report on draft appliance efficiency standards for televisions. A rulemaking proceeding for television efficiency (docket # 09-AAER-1C) was established in March 2009.

The pre-rulemaking proceeding covering televisions and other appliances can be found at:

To be notified about workshops and other events related to this proceeding, please add your e-mail address in the "ListServer" sign-up box to the right.

For questions about this regulatory proceeding, contact

California Energy Commission

Energy Efficiency and Renewables Division

Appliances and Process Energy Office

1516 Ninth Street, MS-25

Sacramento, CA 95814