Energy and your TV choice: My letter to Consumer Reports

There is somewhat a debate about how to move to a better energy future (sustainable and more prosperous). Some argue that what is required is “education” — let the individual figure out their best choice.  Others assert that it is simply “up to government” and, to a certain extent, even give up on their individual action as irrelevant in the larger schema.  Truth is that both individual and governmental action is required (along with institutional of all types) to be able to manage a move toward an energy future that will reduce/mitigate Global Warming impact while sustaining the world past peak hydrocarbon.In any event, however, to be able to make this move requires that people and institutions have accurate information that will enable action and enable decisions.  

Below is a letter to the editor of Consumer Reports regarding an article comparing LCD and Plasma televisions that failed to give that required material for their readers to be able to make informed decisions.

  To the editor,

Not surprisingly, the article on considerations between LCD and Plasma televisions (“Flat-Panel TVs”, November 2006) had excellent content and clearly laid out the issues in making a choice between the two technologies. That is, almost all the major issues.

Plasma TVs use significantly more electricity than LCD TVs.  A Plasma TV will use, according to the Department of Energy, about 849 kilowatt hours per year while an LCD TV will use 387.  At 10 cents per kilowatt hour (about the US average), that translates into $46.20 per year in additional costs. And, with the US average, this translates into roughly 500 pounds of additional carbon pollution into the atmosphere.

Both of these issues — the cost of energy required to run a system and the potential global warming impact of two products — would seem to be of increasing interest to your readership. Consumers cannot make the “right” decision if they don’t have the right information.  

I would hope that, in the future, Consumer Reports will provide their readership (consumers) facts to make informed decisions in regards to the energy issues (both cost and pollution) related to comparing products.



Reference (WARNING PDF)

First posted at Daily Kos, 10 Oct 2006


One response to “Energy and your TV choice: My letter to Consumer Reports

  1. Pingback: What's the best question to ask?

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