by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
There is a troubling bill working it’s way through the Oregon state legislature.
SB 692 would create unnecessary energy efficiency mandates on televisions sold in Oregon. The industry is concerned because with more than 20 years of experience working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ENERGY STAR program, we’ve found that voluntary, market-oriented and consumer-friendly policies and programs are superior to regulatory mandates in protecting innovation, consumer choice and competition while advancing energy efficiency in rapidly-changing electronic products and equipment.
What’s more, the bill is modeled after regulations enacted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2009. However, California excluded large TV models above 58”. California granted these necessary exemptions because a report (www.CE.org/California) by the LECG, LLC found that banning larger TV models would simply just push savvy consumers to make their purchases online and across state lines – sending sales, tax revenues and jobs with it. In fact, had that exemption not been granted, it was estimated that California’s regulation could have destroyed 4,000 jobs tied to TV sales, distribution and installation and cost California $47 million a year in lost tax revenues.
What’s at risk if Oregon fails to exempt the largest, most innovative TV models? Small businesses in Oregon, such as home theater installers, would stand to lose significant business without a large TV exemption. In fact, any consumer or business that purchases the largest, highest-resolution TVs could be at risk if SB 692 doesn’t align with California’s regulatory exemption.
Product bans and regulation are avoidable altogether if supporters of SB 692 recognized that TVs are already among the most energy efficient products in the home today, thanks to innovation, competition and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. LCD flat-screen TV of today already use 63% less energy than in 2003.