The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is raising the bar for Energy Star certification starting with televisions and cable/satellite boxes. The EPA announcement states that, by September 2011, all TVs and cable/sattelite boxes will need to be 40% more efficient than conventional models to earn the coveted badge.
Likely due in part to federal tax credits for purchasing Energy Star devices, consumer demand and retailer support for Energy Star compliant products has surged upward, even for products like TVs and computers which don’t earn the tax credit. The EPA is betting that this heightened demand will continue and is taking the opportunity to exponentially increase energy savings by making over 20 revisions to Energy Star certification standards.
The EPA points to large screen televisions as an example of the new stipulations. A 60″ TV will now have to consume less than 108 watts when powered up compared to the average 282 watts consumed by a similarly sized standard model. The standby-mode requirements for TVs stands at 1 watt or less. In the case of cable and satellite boxes, the EPA now requires that they enter a “deep sleep mode” when not in use that will drop their consumption down from around 16 watts to 2 watts or less.Some interesting statistics provided by the EPA indicate that, were every television and cable or satellite box to meet these new requirements, the end result would be about $5 million in savings each year and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what is produced by 7 million cars annually.
As if to abate further scrutiny and speculation that Energy Star ratings could be fraudulently obtained, the EPA folded in additional requirements that mandates all devices seeking the certification to be tested by specific EPA-approved third party testing facilities in EPA-approved labs .