LG Electronics said Monday it used the start of “Earth Month” to announce it is officially a signatory to the next phase of a voluntary agreement for the on-going improvement of energy efficiency in televisions sold in the United States and Canada.

The latest portion of the initiative, which was to take effect in March 2022, was originally spearheaed by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in cooperation with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Unlike the U.S. Energy Star program or the EU’s Energy Label program for televisions sold in Europe, the CTA-coordinated TV energy guidelines seek to achieve voluntary rather than mandatory on-going energy consumption criteria levels established with the participation of the manufacturers themselves, rather than through imposed mandates established by outside government bodies that may or may not take into account the performance quality of the set.

Among the stated main points of this phase of the agreement is to establish “the equally important objectives.. to pursue energy efficiency in a manner that does not undermine the intended uses and functionalities of televisions; that preserves and enhances the consumer experience; and that is sufficiently flexible to adapt to technological innovation, market competition, and consumer demand for new features, larger screen sizes, and enhanced picture quality and resolution.”

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The announcement comes as new TV energy consumption mandates for the EU took effect last month specifying out-of-box picture mode settings for power consumption levels that among other things, can limit the way certain 8K UHD TVs perform if not adjusted by the consumer.

The CTA’s voluntary program goal is to “significantly improve the energy efficiency of TVs sold in the United States and Canada.”

As a TV manufacturer signatory, LG Electronics [and others who have signed or will follow] intends to “take TV energy efficiency to the next level, helping American consumers save money while taking climate action,” stated Thomas Yoon, LG Electronics North America CEO. “LG is proud to fight climate change through energy efficiency.”

Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO, said the agreement “shows how a voluntary, cooperative approach can drive energy savings and carbon emissions reduction while protecting innovation and competition.”

Under the agreement, LG and other signatories agree to:
• Ensure that at least 90% of TVs sold in the U.S. and Canada by 2026 will have a standby-mode power usage of no more than 2.0 watts.
• Develop additional on-mode power usage commitments within a year.
• Retain an independent auditor to oversee and confirm the accuracy of third-party lab testing and manufacturer-submitted confidential sales data.
• Publicly disclose energy efficiency information.

The “first phase” of the agreement is expected to generate savings of an estimated 58 terawatt-hours once fully realized, with consumers saving more than $2.4 billion annually and avoiding more than 10 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, according to the CTA.

The “second phase” of the agreement will include the development of further TV energy savings performance levels in the coming year, the CTA said.

In September 2020, the CTA, NRDC and ACEEE initiated a memorandum of understanding and mutual commitments to establish standardized testing methods “as a development of more meaningful energy efficiency commitments.

Signatories to that starting point included: LG, Best Buy private label, Funai Corp., Hisense USA Corp., Konka North America, Samsung Electronics America, and Vizio.

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By Greg Tarr

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