EU TV regulations could save 14 nuclear reactors

The European Commission (EC) has published new TV energy consumption regulations, which could come into effect as early as 2012, saving several nuclear power reactors’ worth of energy if the measures are adopted throughout Europe, according to display research firm Meko.

Meko revealed that if every TV sold in a year in Europe improved its energy efficiency by one level it would result in an energy saving equivalent to 1.66 nuclear power plants. With trends estimating a seven to eight year period before old TVs are fully replaced with the next generation, that saving skyrockets to a staggering 14 power stations, revealing just how glued to the set we really are.

The EC regulations are calling for a significant reduction in the power consumption of TVs. A five percent reduction in power use can be easily achieved from the outset by reducing the ambient light intensity of home-mode or on-mode to between 20 and 0 lux and forcing automatic brightness control during these modes.

The EC will also be encouraging manufacturers to produce TVs that comply with a better energy rating, setting targets for the elimination of the lower ratings over the next 10 years. The extremely poor G rating will no longer be acceptable in 2014, the not much better F rating will be scrapped in 2017, and the still paltry E rating will not be entertained in 2020, giving manufacturers quite some time to lower power consumption.

The rating system will be mandatory when the legislation is approved, but the Energy Saving Trust in the UK has convinced many retailers to adopt it ahead of schedule. These retailers include Best Buy, Comet, Co-operative Electrical, Currys, PC World, John Lewis Partnership, Argos, M&S, and Sainsbury’s.

“I’m very pleased that Peter Bromage from the Energy Saving Trust is the keynote speaker at our up-coming Glade 2010 conference, the first day of our 2010 DisplayForum event,” said Bob Raikes, Managing Director of Meko. “He will talk about the attitudes of retailers and consumers, so if  you are active in the European TV business, you should make sure that  somebody from your company is at the event.”

Bromage will talk about the Energy Saving Trust’s initiative at the DisplayForum conference in London on November 2. Other speaks from DEFRA, TCO and EPEAT will also be in attendance.