For the most part, LCD TVs use less power than plasmas, CRTs and other types of TVs. But still, when I walk past my own 48-inch Vizio LCD TV, I feel the heat emanating from the screen. In fact, when I’ve plugged the TV into my Kill-a-watt electricity usage monitor, it was registering around 300 watts, or eating up as much energy as three 100-watt light bulbs!
Vizio, the Irvine TV company that began the trend of selling big TVs for lower prices, said today that all of its TVs use less power by meeting or exceeding the new Energy Star 3.0 requirement for lower power consumption. In addition, it announced a new TV, the 32-inch EcoHD TV (pictured above), which uses 44 percent less energy than a typical 32-inch LCD HDTV.
Curious, I took a look at the new Energy Star 3.0 qualifications, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The maximum energy a 50-inch HDTV can use while powered on is 318 watts (click chart below for larger image).
Well, that’s about what my two-year-old TV was coming in at. So, I’m not sure how much energy Energy Star 3.0 TVs will truly save when compared to older LCD TVs. They were already more efficient than other TVs. But there are other requirements to get the logo, including using less than 1 watt in standby mode.
The EPA requires that TVs that get the 3.0 logo must be “30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models,” according to the EPA press release. Since the standard just started rolling out on Nov. 1, I’m sure we will see a ton of other TVs meeting these new energy requirements.
For Vizio, at least nine models exceed the 3.0 requirement by as much as 25 percent. Also, all of its 22-inch and 19-inch TVs use less energy than a conventional 60 Watt light bulb.
The new Vizio EcoTV is $499.99 and will be available online later this month at vizio.com and select stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Wal-Mart and Dell.com.