Who's the Greenest of Them All?
The latest Energy Star certified TVs are up to 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models. Certification applies when the TV is on or in standby mode. Energy Star is a voluntary program--manufacturers are encouraged to seek certification voluntarily but are not required to do it by law. See press release, then check out the Energy Star Televisions page, which lets you search for models by product type, brand, screen size, display type, or model name/number.
Although LCDs are reputed to be more energy efficient than plasmas, there are in fact some plasmas that meet the new spec, according to the Plasma Display Coalition. They include models by Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, and Pioneer.
Perhaps the best bragging rights belong to JVC, several of whose sets actually exceed the new Energy Star spec. Says the press release: "Based on the new ENERGY STAR 3.0 requirements, JVC LCD models are the most efficient in their class. In the 32" class, JVC is tied for the most efficient TV, and has three of the next most efficient sets. In the 40-42 inch class and the 46-47 inch class, JVC swept the first four places, in every case significantly more efficient than the ENERGY STAR requirement. And in the 50-52 inch class, JVC had the top three most efficient models. Overall, JVC LCD TVs outperformed the ENERGY STAR requirement by anywhere from 29 to 60 percent."
Please be advised that even Energy Star certified products use energy, and that buying one is no substitute for behaving responsibly--for instance, by turning off your TV when it's not in use. And recent gains in energy efficiency are offset by the upsizing of video displays. So let's not be too complacent about this. Still, a little progress is better than none.