NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 6, 2009

As the economy tightens up, many folks will find themselves going out less and seeking entertainment at home instead.  Anyone planning to watch much TV in California, though, had better act fast: The state's lawmakers are working on a law requiring retailers to sell only the most energy-efficient television models, says the National Review.


  • The law would go into effect in 2011 and become stricter in 2013.
  • Supposedly, this is a measure to save energy, but it's unlikely to be all that effective: Modern TVs use more electricity than older ones did, but they still account for only 4 percent of total usage (10 percent of the average California household's electricity bill).
  • And with California outlawing many TVs, consumers will be more likely to order their sets from out of state.

If the state truly needs to lessen the strain on its power grid, a better idea would be to raise the price of electricity, says National Review: 

  • The people and businesses who could most afford to cut back would -- some of them by buying appliances, including TVs, that use less energy.
  • This would slash usage across the board, instead of for a single appliance, and wouldn't require dictating to residents what products they can own.

Source: Editorial, "The Week," National Review, January 26, 2009.


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