Nightly News   |  November 16, 2009

Going green against big-screen TVs

Nov. 16: Power-sucking big-screen TVs have drawn the attention of California state legislators, who will vote Wednesday on whether to make some of them illegal. But some industry groups claim it will be consumers who will suffer. NBC's Lee Cowan reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

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 .