Efficiency Rating: DOE is considering two methods for determining the metrics for televisions. The first method would output four separate metrics, including luminance ratio, on-mode energy consumption, standby mode energy consumption, and off-mode energy consumption. Alternatively, DOE is also considering a single output metric based on combining the on-, standby, and off-mode energy consumption values to provide an annual energy use.
Analyses: Under contract to DOE, LBNL's Energy Efficiency Standards (EES) group assisted in drafting the test procedure NOPR. In addition, EES led a pilot study to determine the average room illuminance (brightness) levels found in people’s homes when they watch TV. Room illuminance levels impact the energy use of televisions equipped with automatic brightness control sensors.
Efficiency Standards History: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) created the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products other than automobiles. The 1978 National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA), which amended EPCA, required DOE to establish mandatory energy efficiency standards for each of 13 covered products, including television sets. In 1987, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) amended EPCA by refining the list of covered products and establishing Federal energy conservation standards for 11 of the 12 products on the revised list.
Televisions have a unique status under EPCA: although they are listed as covered products, they are the only covered product for which the statute does not require a standard. Moreover, EPCA requires DOE to undertake rulemakings with regard to the other covered products according to a prescribed schedule. With regard to televisions, EPCA provides the Secretary of Energy with discretion to establish an energy conservation standard by rule, but does not require such a rulemaking.
DOE adopted a test procedure for televisions on June 29, 1979. The test procedure was appropriate for measuring the energy efficiency of only analog television sets. In the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, as amended by the DTV Delay Act of 2009, Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to terminate all licenses for full-power television stations in the analog television service and to require the cessation of broadcasting by full power stations in the analog television service by June 13, 2009. Accordingly, DOE repealed the test procedure on October 20, 2009. On September 3, 2010, DOE published a Request for Information (RFI) to initiate the rulemaking and data collection process for a new test procedure for television sets. After receiving stakeholder feedback from the RFI and testing and analyzing TVs, DOE published a NOPR on January 19, 2012.