California is proposing a new energy efficient standard for televisions in its quest to cut energy use. The state is in the process of establishing requirements for televisions that would require the sets to meet new standards starting in 2011. The proposal will be expanded in 2013 and require TV’s to use 1/2 the energy they now use. In particular are plasma sets which some state use the energy of a large refrigerator.

So how will these standards impact the TV industry?

Televisions hooked up to DVRs, DVD players, and cable or satellite boxes now consume about 10 percent of a home’s electricity, according to the Energy Commission. While the energy savings of each TV set will vary depending on the size and model, the 2011 standards are expected to reduce energy consumption by about one-third. Tougher standards in 2013 would reduce energy consumption by nearly half.

Industry leaders say the standards could limit consumer choice, stifle the kind of innovation that has improved TV picture quality over the years, and drive California shoppers to the Internet or out of state.

“Independent studies show millions in tax revenue and thousands of jobs are at stake,” said Doug Johnson, senior director of technology policy at the Consumer Electronics Association.

The industry has argued the standards would leave Californians with TVs that have poorer picture quality and fewer features than those sold elsewhere in the United States.

What is not disputed is the fact that even LCD televisions use about 43% more juice than the old tube type televisions. Plasma TV’s use about 3 times more electricity than the cathode ray tubes of the past.

What should be interesting is whether other states will follow California’s lead.

Comments welcome.