Friday, November 20, 2009

Response To California's Large-Screen TV Regulation

From Slashdot:
"It's great that unelected bureaucrats in California are clamoring to save energy, but when they target your big-screen TVs for elimination, consumers and manufacturers are apt to declare war. CEDIA and the CEA are up in arms over this. Audioholics has an interesting response that involves setting the TVs in 'SCAM' mode to meet the energy criteria technically without having to add additional cost or increase costs to consumers. 'In this mode, the display brightness/contrast settings would be set a few clicks to the right of zero, audio would be disabled and backlighting would be set to minimum. The power consumption should be measured in this mode much like an A/V receiver power consumption is measured with one channel driven at full rated power and the other channels at 1/8th power.' This is an example of an impending train wreck of unintended consequences, and many are grabbing the popcorn and pulling up chairs to watch."

1 comment:

Peter said...

John I'm with Slashdot on this one!

Are you guys in the 'Free America' or are you wannabees to join our
Bureaucratic ban-loving EU? :-)

Either way,

Governor Schwarzenegger is shooting himself in the foot!

1. Taxation, while still wrong, is better than bans for all concerned.
TV set taxation based on energy efficiency - unlike bans - gives
Governor Schwarzenegger's impoverished California Government income on
the reduced sales, while consumers keep choice.
This also applies generally,
to CARS (with emission tax or gas tax), BUILDINGS, DISHWASHERS, LIGHT BULBS etc,
where politicians instead keep trying to define what people can or can't use.
Politicians can use the tax money raised to fund home insulation
schemes, renewable projects etc that lower energy use and emissions
more than remaining product use raises them.
Energy efficient products can have any sales taxes lowered, making
them cheaper than today.
People are not just hit by taxes, they don't have to buy the higher
taxed products - and at least they CAN still buy them.

2. Product regulation, bans or taxation, are however unwarranted:
Where there is a problem - deal with the problem!

Energy: there is no energy shortage
(given renewable/nuclear development possibilities, with set emission limits)
and consumers - not politicians - pay for energy and how they wish to use it.

It might sound great to
"Let everyone save money by only allowing energy efficient products"
Inefficient products that use more energy can have performance,
appearance and construction advantages
Examples (using cars, buildings, dishwashers, TV sets, light bulbs etc):
For example, big plasma TV screens have image contrast and other
advantages along with their large image sizes.

Products using more energy usually cost less, or they'd be more energy
efficient already.
Depending on how much they are used, there might therefore not be any
running cost savings either.

Other factors contribute to a lack of savings:

If households use less energy,
then utility companies make less money,
and will just raise electricity prices to cover their costs.
So people don't save as much money as they thought.

energy efficiency in effect means cheaper energy,
so people just leave TV sets etc on more, knowing that energy bills are lower,
as also shown by Scottish and Cambridge research

Either way, supposed energy - or money - savings aren't there.

Why energy efficiency regulations are wrong,
whether you are for or against energy and emission conservation
Politicians don't object to energy efficiency as it sounds too good to
be true. It is.
--The Consumer Side
Product Performance -- Construction and Appearance
Price Increase -- Lack of Actual Savings: Money, Energy or Emissions.
Choice and Quality affected
-- The Manufacturer Side
Meeting Consumer Demand -- Green Technology -- Green Marketing
--The Energy Side
Energy Supply -- Energy Security -- Cars and Oil Dependence
--The Emission Side
Buildings -- Industry -- Power Stations -- Light Bulbs