i3 | January 04, 2021

Milestone Agreement on TV Energy Efficiency

Doug Johnson

In October 2020, leading television manufacturers, CTA, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) together announced the breakthrough Voluntary Agreement to Promote a New Test Method for Measuring the Energy Usage of Televisions to develop and promote an updated test method for measuring television energy use.

The group also agreed to discussions to establish a potential set of formal voluntary energy commitments to further improve energy efficiency in new TVs sold in the U.S. and Canada based upon the laboratory testing of a cross-section of TVs using this new test method.

Under the new agreement, manufacturer signatories Funai, Hisense, Konka, LG, Samsung, TCL and Vizio, representing the majority of the TV market in North America, along with NRDC and ACEEE, will develop a new test method that better enables accurate, consistent evaluation of automatic brightness control, motion detection dimming, screen-average luminance and standby power of internet-connected TVs. The signatories agreed to use best efforts to promote the adoption of the new test method by standards bodies and regulators, and they agreed to collaborate on laboratory testing of the energy usage of a representative set of new TVs using the new test method.

Working Together

The parties also will use the test data to inform a process designed to establish a voluntary agreement that includes minimum energy efficiency levels for most new televisions sold in the U.S. and Canada. Similar energy efficiency voluntary agreements are in place for set-top boxes and small network equipment such as routers and modems.

“This agreement is a promising step toward modernizing the approach to TV energy efficiency,” said Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy, CTA. “CTA is thrilled to join NRDC and ACEEE as partners in this initiative. And we look forward to developing a strong program that makes televisions more energy efficient and enables continued innovation.”

“By working together, we hope to develop an updated test method that better reflects the actual amount of electricity used by new televisions and find ways to bring down their national energy consumption,” said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist, NRDC. “As today’s TVs are being sold with an ever-increasing set of features and getting larger every year, efforts like this to improve their efficiency are vitally important.”

“As technologies evolve and new features become commonplace, it’s critical that test methods keep up,” said Jennifer Amann, buildings program director, ACEEE. “An updated test method will provide consumers, policymakers, and others a more realistic picture of TV energy use to inform their decisions. Through this collaboration, we’ll work on a new test method and encourage its use in efficiency programs to reduce energy use and associated carbon emissions from TVs.”

Subscribe to i3 Magazine

I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.