New televisons must be 40% more energy efficient than conventional models to earn the Energy Start label under new requirements completed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The standard, effective September 2011, also applies to cable and satellite boxes.
The updates are the first of more than 20 revisions to product requirements the Energy Star program is expected to complete this year.
The new television requirements reflect an acceleration of pending changes made possible by a rapid market response to the current Energy Star requirements, EPA said. Sustained consumer demand and strong retailer support for the program could lead to sales of the current Energy Star qualified televisions representing as much as 70% of the market this year, the Agency estimates.
With more than 19 million large screen (greater than 40 inches) televisions expected to ship this year, this could lead to substantial energy bill savings and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions. For example, under the new requirements, a 60-inch television must use less than 108 watts, compared to the average 282 watts used by a standard model that size.
The new Energy Star requirements for cable and satellite boxes specify that they enter a deep sleep mode while not in use, dropping their energy consumption from about 16 watts to 2 watts or less. The new requirements also encourage the deployment of multi-room "thin client" devices to transmit programming from one central DVR to other televisions in the home.
In order to earn the Energy Star label under these new requirements, product performance must be certified by an EPA-recognized third-party based on testing in an EPA-recognized lab. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs run by recognized Certification Bodies.
If all televisions, cable and satellite boxes in the U.S. were to meet the new Energy Star requirements, consumer energy cost savings would grow to more than $5 billion each year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of more than 7 million cars.