SOURCE: Plasma Display Coalition

October 13, 2009 11:37 ET

Plasma Display Coalition Demands End to Flagrant Misinformation Campaign About Energy Efficiency

California Energy Commission Erroneously Taking Credit for TV Manufacturing Industry's Voluntary and Ongoing Energy Improvements

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - October 13, 2009) - The Plasma Display Coalition today called on the California Energy Commission to stop its misinformation campaign aimed at justifying sweeping TV energy regulations that would cripple independent electronics retailers and result in TV sales moving out of state. Today, the Energy Commission is holding a final "public workshop" to detail its regulatory plans for TV sets, an initiative that treats every size and type of TV as the same, regardless of features or display technology.

"It's not fair to California consumers or retailers to have decisions made based on outdated, inaccurate, and biased facts and figures. TV manufacturers have helped consumers throughout California and throughout the country to trim their electricity costs by nearly a third in just the past two years. Our products are already saving energy, without any regulation. Yet the California Energy Commission insists on using old data to justify its over-reaching proposals," said Plasma Display Coalition President Jim Palumbo. "The Energy Commission has previously corrected inaccurate information on its public information web sites that listed retailers such as SEARS and Fry's Electronics as supporters of the state's over-the-top regulatory campaign. We're asking for the same consideration, given that many of the so-called facts listed by the Commission are far from it. It's time for the Energy Commission to state the facts and to stop distorting the truth to justify their actions."

"Plasma HDTV manufacturers are among the technology leaders who have voluntarily and aggressively introduced new TV innovations that have already driven down energy consumption and saved California consumers millions of dollars. We are surprised to find the Energy Commission taking credit for this voluntary action on the part of the TV industry. While state regulators claim their proposal would save billions of dollars, it's important to note that those estimates are founded on energy savings that the TV manufacturers are already delivering through longstanding research and development as well as voluntary efforts. And people all over the country are benefiting from the purchase of more energy efficient products that have been voluntarily introduced to the market, responding to consumer demand. Therefore, any additional energy savings that result from California regulation will be minimal and only related to televisions that will be forbidden in the California market," Palumbo said.

"While we understand and share the Commission's objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we know that a far more effective way to reduce power demand in California and stimulate energy-efficient TV sales as well as grow sales tax revenue would be for the Energy Commission to adopt a more strategic approach. Rather than regulating to deny California residents the advantages of new technologies, new features and performance improvements, the State should focus on retiring older and far less-efficient televisions that are the true drain on the state's energy resources," Palumbo added.

"Frankly, we agree with The Los Angeles Times, which in an Oct. 3 editorial stated that the California Energy Commission's proposal to regulate TV energy consumption ignores the power of consumer demand and market competition. The newspaper also pointed out that consumers who can't find the TV sets they want in California will simply go one state away to shop in nearby Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona. So who loses? Small, independent California electronics retailers and consumers."

Palumbo also highlighted two documents being used by the Energy Commission's own press office that are rife with errors and false statements.

"Specifically, and with regard to Plasma TV technology, the Commission's FAQ document shows a chart that compares CRT, LCD, and Plasma technologies. However, they use three examples of products that have never been marketed in the United States. We know of no manufacturer who has ever made a 30-inch color TV picture tube set -- the most common size classes were 31/32" and 35/36". Retailers sold millions of these enormous picture tube products in the 1990s, and there are millions of them still in use in California. A 36-inch analog TV can easily consume twice the energy of a new 42-inch Plasma HDTV, which is 40% larger and can display six times more picture information on a vivid, wide screen. To our knowledge, no manufacturer has ever produced a 36-inch LCD or a 48-inch Plasma set. These screen sizes are fabrications on the part of the California Energy Commission, or on the part of whoever provided this information to the Commission. Further, the energy efficiency comparisons for these imaginary televisions are grossly exaggerated," Palumbo said.

Another comparison chart stacks a 42-inch LCD against a 42-inch Plasma model. Current ENERGY STAR 42" Plasma models, which make up the bulk of Plasma sales, range from 142-195 watts. Yet the Energy Commission's chart suggests that a more typical Plasma energy consumption figure is an inflated 271 watts -- a 40%+ discrepancy.

"We have objected to this inaccurate and misleading portrayal of our industry's finest products, especially given the enormous strides that our members have made to increase energy efficiency over the past several years. This inaccurate information is a tremendous disservice to our industry, to the media, and to consumers. We again urge the Commission to correct the record and promote information about the industry that is accurate and not misleading to the media and to consumers."

The Plasma Display Coalition brought these items, and other inaccuracies, to the attention of the Energy Commission in mid-September. To date, the Commission has not responded to the inquiry about the accuracy of its materials justifying new regulations.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Dave Arland
    GLA Communications
    E-mail: Email Contact
    Phone: (317) 701-0084