Nightly News | November 16, 2009
man: the strength...
>>> we are back here tonight in los angeles with the first of our week of green is universal reports on our planet. and let's start right here in california . after all, it's where they make tv, and they watch a lot of tv. and those new flat-screen tvs in so many homes and businesses draw a lot of power, and now they've drawn the attention of this state. and now here is the debate over regulating television sets from nbc's lee cowan.
>> reporter: for the gadget geek, big-screen tvs are not a luxury, they're almost a religion. on average, we spend more than five hours a day in front the of them. some call that a brain drain . but california sees it as an energy drain.
>> they're certainly getting bigger and they're certainly on more.
>> reporter: and they're on especially here. california has more big-screen tvs than anywhere else, some 35 million sets plugged in and drawing power. in fact, the state's energy commission estimates tvs now account for as much as 10% of the average energy bill.
>> right now is a wonderful time to buy a ge two-in-one refrigerator.
>> >> reporter: much like old refrigerators used to be. but the government restricted their use and california figures, why not do the same with tvs ?
>> the standards themselves will save enough energy to power 864,000 homes per year.
>> reporter: to do it any tv sold in california will have to use 30% electricity by 2010 and 50% less by 2013 . many manufacturers say that won't be a problem. vizio, for example, says that most of its models already meet the standards.
>> we have a 19 inch tv that uses less than the 25-watt light bulb.
>> reporter: but tv retailers like steve ka derrio are worried. he said the regulations will make 25% of his inventory illegal.
>> if you start with televisions, what's next? you can only play your playstation an hour a week?
>> reporter: the industry's lobbying group call it arbitrary and forcing manufactures to meet these guidelines will stifle incongratulation.
>> you have these not based on science or fact but some emotion emotional appeal we have to start regulating every product in the home.
>> reporter: the considered of banning tvs may sound odd coming from the entertainment capital of the world , but officials say if it works, it soon be coming into a tv screen near you. lee cowan, nbc news, los angeles .