Just a few months after Brussels' decision to ban high-powered vacuum cleaners, the EU has come up with another bright energy-saving idea. This time, the target of the EU's drive for energy efficiency is big-screen TVs.
New TV standards which could come into effect as soon as June 2016 would cap the amount of energy the mammoth entertainment devices can use. But massive TVs might not be the only household items affected.
Computer monitors will also come within the scope of the energy regulation, and the example of caps on energy use for big TVs could pave the way for new energy regulations for kettles, toasters, hairdryers and a host of other household appliances.
The regulations will force manufacturers to provide and "end-of-life report" for products, instructing consumers how to disassemble and recycle their old TVs.
Stephane Arditi, the European Environmental Bureau‘s (EEB) products manager, commented on the proposals:
We are very happy that this revision is at last being discussed and expect that the final decision will now be taken very quickly.
We particularly welcome the fact it will be more demanding for bigger screens to reach the energy efficiency level and the highest-classes on energy labels.
However, Arditi fears other popular domestic appliances could be removed from the requirements to avoid controversy. The regulations will allegedly cut Europe’s yearly terrawatt hours of electricity use by 42 per cent.
The savings potential is... estimated at 32 TWh electricity (by 2020), 12 Mt (million tonnes) CO2 equivalent and €8bn in lowering the consumer energy bill. The savings potential in 2030 was estimated to reach 35 Twh, 13 Mt CO2 equivalent and almost €13bn.
The regulation will not apply to smart boards or projectors. In September the EU, much to the chagrin of British households, banned hoovers with power of more than 1,600 watts. The average European vacuum cleaner was 1,800 watts.