Thursday, November 19, 2009

Again with the irony

California. Land of entertainment. Home to Hollywood. Movies. TV. The state motto is "Maior. Melior. Magis." (Or it should be — that's Latin for "Bigger. Better. More.") This is a state that so believes in "big" it needed its own mattress size — Cal King.

Explain to me then why this is the state that is passing a law banning televisions larger than 58"? I'm not kidding. The state of California has evidently decided it has the right to limit the size of your TV in your home. (Not until 2013, so you've got a few years, but still.)

This is the second part of a TV energy bill, the first part of which limits sales of HDTVs in the state to only those which meet its energy efficiency standards. I'm down with that. But the next part, the "you can't have a really large TV because we said so" part? I'm thinking that Kit Eaton of Fast Company summed it up nicely:

The Consumer Electronics Association has publicly reacted to California legislators' ban on inefficient TVs by saying "You're all dumb, with about the same grasp on technology as Homer Simpson." I'm paraphrasing, but the CEA has a point.
That's like saying you can't buy SUVs anymore because they're not as energy efficient as small cars. Has anyone checked the energy efficiency of a Porsche 911 against a Highlander Hybrid? I'm just saying...

1 comment:

Panta Rei said...

yes and california, land of
? freedom loving governors...

Re TV ban:

Governor Schwarzenegger is shooting himself in the foot!

1. Taxation, while itself unjustified, is better for everyone, if energy really needs to be saved.
TV set taxation based on energy efficiency - unlike bans - gives Governor Schwarzenegger's impoverished California Government income on the reduced sales, while consumers keep choice.
This also applies generally,
to CARS (with emission tax or gas tax), BUILDINGS, DISHWASHERS, LIGHT BULBS etc,
where politicians instead keep trying to define what people can or can't use.
Politicians can use the tax money raised to fund home insulation schemes, renewable projects etc that lower energy use and emissions more than remaining product use raises them.
Also, the energy efficient products can have their sales taxes lowered.

2. Product regulation, bans or taxation, are however unwarranted:
Where there is a problem - deal with the problem!

Energy: there is no energy shortage
(given renewable/nuclear development possibilities, with set emission limits)
and consumers - not politicians - pay for energy and how they wish to use it.

It might sound great to
"Let everyone save money by only allowing energy efficient products"
Inefficient products that use more energy can have performance, appearance and construction advantages
Examples (using cars, buildings, dishwashers, TV sets, light bulbs etc):
For example, big plasma TV screens have image contrast and other advantages along with the bigger image sizes.

Products using more energy usually cost less, or they'd be more energy efficient already.
Depending on how much they are used, there might therefore not be any running cost savings either.

Other factors contribute to a lack of savings:

If households use less energy,
then utility companies make less money,
and will just raise electricity prices to cover their costs.
So people don't save as much money as they thought.

energy efficiency in effect means cheaper energy,
so people just leave TV sets etc on more, knowing that energy bills are lower,
as also shown by Scottish and Cambridge research

Either way, supposed energy - or money - savings aren't there.

Why energy efficiency regulations are wrong,
whether you are for or against energy and emission conservation
Politicians don't object to energy efficiency as it sounds too good to be true. It is.
--The Consumer Side
Product Performance -- Construction and Appearance
Price Increase -- Lack of Actual Savings: Money, Energy or Emissions. Choice and Quality affected
-- The Manufacturer Side
Meeting Consumer Demand -- Green Technology -- Green Marketing
--The Energy Side
Energy Supply -- Energy Security -- Cars and Oil Dependence
--The Emission Side
Buildings -- Industry -- Power Stations -- Light Bulbs