New television power consumption limits imposed by California’s Energy Commission (CEC) could cut aggregate annual power consumption of LCD-TVs worldwide in half by the year 2013, if these standards are adopted universally, according to iSuppli.

If all of the 200 million LCD TVs set to be shipped in 2013 complied with the CEC standard, they would use a total of 64.4 billion kilowatt hours for the year, compared to 126.8 billion if they didn’t, iSuppli estimates.

Analysts say this represents a 50 percent decline in power consumption. With indications that other states may follow California’s lead, and with the United States the world’s largest LCD-TVs market, it’s conceivable that CEC-style regulations could spread throughout the country and the world.

The U.S. Consumer Electronics Association is warning that the CEC mandates will have a deleterious impact on consumer choice and technological innovation. The trade organization stated the regulations will result in higher prices for consumers, job losses for Californians, and lost tax revenue for the state.

iSuppli believes the regulations could reduce California tax revenue as consumers purchase larger-sized LCD-TVs through out-of-state channels. Furthermore, the regulations could cause a cessation in sales of certain products in the state, such larger-sized plasma televisions.

However, with both the industry and consumers already embracing greener televisions that consume less power, the negative impacts of the CEC regulations are likely to be limited.

“While the CEA has legitimate concerns, the CEC regulations simply follow suit with the EPA’s Energy Star 3.0 and 4.0 guidelines,” said Randy Lawson, senior analyst, display electronics, for iSuppli.

“Television makers already have been working to cut the power consumption of their products so they can earn the coveted Energy Star label.”

Furthermore, iSuppli’s research indicates that consumers increasingly are aware of power consumption issues, and are likely to gravitate toward sets that use less electricity.

“Because of this, television brands will still be offering a plethora of product choices that will be attractive to consumers,” said Lawson.

An iSuppli survey revealed that 46.1 percent of U.S. consumers in the third quarter said green factors influenced their television purchasing decisions. The same survey showed that 43.4 percent of those consumers considered power savings to be the most important green feature.

According to iSuppli, the ever-more-restrictive television power consumption standards in California and elsewhere definitely will impact the path of technology development for flat-panel TVs, affecting panel materials, LCD backlight designs and system audio/video electronics.

Lawson said, “Many design changes will occur in the television electronics and OEM-enabled features, including technologies like ambient light sensing to help enable intelligent backlight drive options.”

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