Arlington, Va. - The California
Energy Commission (CEC) approved this week an Order for Instituted
Rulemaking, which lays out additional products for which California will consider
setting new minimum energy-efficiency standards.
This includes computer displays, video game consoles, imaging
equipment, servers and set-top boxes.
The CEC has established energy-efficiency mandates in the past
that have forced manufacturers to alter development or stop sales to California
of CE products, such as flat-panel televisions. Consumer electronics
manufacturers and retailers have complained that rulemaking imposed in
California ultimately impacts how products are designed for the rest of the
Predictably, the action drew the immediate objections from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
"California should not distinguish itself as the enemy of
innovation. We continue to be concerned about how regulations are being
justified and supported by the California Energy Commission," said Gary
Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. "The CEC's approach, which focuses on setting
artificial limits on consumer products, threatens to stifle innovation and
economic growth within an industry already on the vanguard of energy
efficiency. CEA supports programs defining energy usage consistently and
conveying such information to consumers.
Shapiro said further CEC technology mandates could threaten
innovation in the areas of IT, the Internet, the Cloud, entertainment and
broadband, adding that the board's energy-efficiency guidelines for California
(and consequently the rest of the country) are "based on flawed justifications,
as we have witnessed in three CEC rulemakings to date."
Shapiro asked California to work with the CEA "on proven
approaches to sustainability, such as encouraging innovation in the field of e-cycling,
meeting green product standards, and educating policymakers and consumers alike
on energy efficiency trends and savings opportunities."
The Natural Resources Defense
Council, which is an environmental action group, said in a statement that
the CEC proposed energy and environmental efficiency mandates offer potential
energy, environmental and economic savings that "are quite compelling. If all of these standards are passed,
Californians will save approximately $1.5 billion per year in the form of lower