Increasing TV energy efficiency provides a triple benefit to California by boosting the economy, lowering electricity ratepayers' utility bills and helping the state meet its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2020, Larson said. "Every dollar spent on energy efficiency returns $2 in savings," he added.
Such savings should be encouraged, but not at the expense of businesses, large and small, that may see sales fall if they don't offer a wide variety of televisions, industry officials say.
The industry isn't sure how the regulations will affect it. The Consumer Electronics Assn. presented three scenarios to the commission, showing 10%, 20% and 30% drops in product availability and each of their potential financial effects.
If 30% of televisions fail to meet standards and can't be sold, California could lose $130 million in tax revenue and 15,800 jobs, Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Assn., testified at a Dec. 15 Energy Commission workshop.