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Energy Star Consumer Electronics
One of the fastest growing residential end-uses in the past two decades has been consumer electronics. This category includes TVs, VCRs, cable boxes, audio equipment, answering machines, and many other communication and entertainment products. This end-use is likely to continue to grow as new products such as digital satellite systems, DVD, and Web TV become commonplace. These products are of particular concern from an energy standpoint because they tend to leak electricity. That is, they consume some electricity even when they are turned off. Although these "standby losses" may only amount to a few watts per device, the typical home leaks about 50 watts, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, or about 440 kWh per year. (To put this in perspective, a new refrigerator consumes about 600-700 kWh per year.)
Before this project began, little data was available on power consumption by home electronics. Researchers here used a portable watt-meter to measure power draw of a variety of appliances in homes and electronics showroom floors. Researchers have also collected information on energy-efficient technologies ranging from innovative power supply designs to high-efficency RF tuners. Using the information collected by LBNL, EPA was able to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with manufacturers designed to reduce standby losses in TVs and VCRs. The program was officially launched in early 1998 at the Consumer Electronics Show. This is expected to be the first of several initiatives to reduce energy consumption in consumer electronics.
Lead - Carrie Webber
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