Government ain’t going to ban plasmas, LCDs anytime soon

Government ain’t going to ban plasmas, LCDs anytime soon

The possible Australian ban of plasmas and LCDs for poor power consumption has caused quite the stir (sidenote: there was quite the heated discussion of this story, and the fallacies of this report, on an Aussie IT journalist email list yesterday). The mothership mentioned things overnight, and this story from Asher Moses from SMH had some of the juiciest issues flagged, while he also quotes Jez Ford from Sound & Image on why the reports timelines are, well, INSANE (my word, not his).

Philips were the first company with a press release affirming their commitment to a global approach, and that the industry is already pushing standby power down below 1W and general consumption is trending down relative to size.

Read on for a general rant on this whole affair.So too has Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, agreeing that a global approach to TV power consumption improvements is key, not localised bans that would hurt nothing but the local market.

The report itself, though, has some wacky leaps of logic in what makes TVs poor power consumers, even mentioning 100-inch panels in its discussion. Huh? Who seriously is going to have these mega screens in homes? That the power requirements don’t scale very well right now isn’t a reason to ban screens.

Of course, the leap to saying things could be banned by some has been rather dramatic. Step one of the recommendations – get Energy Star ratings onto TVs like they are on whitegoods – is a great idea. I’d love to have standardised comparative information that is based on real world testing, not just manufacturer claims.

The other crazy recommendation – banning TVs that don’t measure up, and that almost all current TVs don’t – is unfeasable. I doubt the report writers genuinely expected it to happen. And if they did, I hope they’re suitably embarassed today.

If almost no TVs measure up, what are they using as a measurement standard? How do they know what they think should be a pass mark is fair if almost nothing passes?

In many discussions on the subject, it seems that TVs are being unfairly targeted at a time when kitchens are full of appliances that eat obscene amounts of power. My personal take wonders how, in a world where you can buy 100% green power credit, we can balance the need for general consumptions standards and my right – as someone who chooses to pay for green power – to buy any power sucker I want.

Should 100% green power consumers get a special card they can flash at stores, letting them buy the gear that is banned for those on fossil fuels? Would this be a path to a two tier society where people who can afford to go green get access to the coolest toys? When on earth are we going to worry more about delivering blanket renewable energy than a few domestic Watts of power?

Share thoughts if you’ve got some.