California state new guidelines will be enforced on new TV sets sold in 2011.

California state new guidelines will be enforced on new TV sets sold in 2011.

California on Wednesday became the first US state to set energy-efficiency standards for television sets, a move designed to save billion of dollars in energy costs.

The California Energy Commission approved the standards with a unanimous 5-0 vote in Sacramento, meaning that from 2011 new televisions sold in the state will be the most energy efficient in the nation.

The commission said in a statement the standards would save $8.1 billion in energy costs and save enough energy to power 864,000 homes in the decade following 2011.

The move comes follows the explosion in availability of energy-guzzling large-screen televisions in recent years, which experts say can account for around 10 percent of household energy consumption.

“The real winners of these new TV energy efficiencies are California consumers who will be saving billions of dollars and conserving energy while preserving their choice to buy any size or type of TV,” Energy Commission chairwoman Karen Douglas said.

“Californians buy four million televisions each year and they deserve the most energy efficient models available,” she added.

Under the guidelines, new televisions sold in 2011 must consume 33 percent less electricity and 49 percent less electricity by 2013.

Pacific Gas & Electric power company estimates that the changes will reduce CO2 emissions by three million metric tons.

The commission said more than 1,000 television models already on the market met the 2011 standards and the new rules would not affect televisions already owned by households. — AFP