Televisions include products designed to receive and display audio-visual content from terrestrial, cable, satellite, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), or other sources. TVs typically consist of a tuner or receiver and a display encased in a single enclosure. Traditional cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are, for the most part, no longer manufactured, having been replaced by flat panel technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma products.


In October 2013, DOE issued a final test procedure rule, replacing the obsolete TV test method (for analog televisions) which was repealed in 2009. The California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted new television standards in November 2009. The standards established the first-ever active mode power usage limits with a two-phase implementation. Tier 1 became effective on January 1, 2011 and Tier 2 became effective on January 1, 2013. Tier 1 requires a maximum of 1 W standby power, and active mode power less than or equal to 0.2 x (screen area) + 32 for televisions with a screen size smaller than 1,400 inches (58 inch diagonal). Tier 2 requires active mode power less than or equal to 0.12 x Screen Area + 25. In addition, the CEC standards require that TVs provide a minimum level of brightness in the “home” or default mode in which energy use is measured to prevent gaming of the standard. (If the home mode is too dim, consumers will switch to other modes that would erode energy savings.) The standards also require a minimum power factor of 0.9. Connecticut adopted standards for televisions in 2011 and Oregon in 2013.

The 2012 ASAP/ACEEE report, The Efficiency Boom, modeled a potential standard for televisions based on ENERGY STAR version 5.3 which became effective in September 2011. The ENERGY STAR criteria require that the default factory settings are set to the more efficient levels (home setting rather than store display setting), and curb energy associated with the downloading program guide data. ENERGY STAR uses a formula (similar to California's) based on the screen size to determine how much energy a TV can use in active mode. The criteria also include a maximum cap on active mode energy use, regardless of size. The ASAP/ACEEE estimate eliminated the cap for the purposes of a mandatory standard (and simply extended the formula for larger televisions). The standard results in nearly 30% savings. There are not expected to be any incremental cost associated with this standard.


According to EPA’s ENERGY STAR, there are more than 275 million TV’s in the US, accounting for about 4% of all households’ electricity use. Natural Resources Defense Council reports that TV’s and peripherals (such as digital video recorders, cable boxes, satellite, and video game consoles) are estimated to represent 10% of residential electricity use. Significant technological advancements have reduced the energy consumption of flat panel TVs, including plasma and LCD products, two of the most popular types available.


Federal Date States
2014 CT Standard Effective
2014 OR Standard Effective
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2013
2013 OR Standard Adopted
2011 CT Standard Adopted
2011 CA Standard Effective
2009 CA Standard Adopted
NAECA Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1987

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.