A few days ago the Consumer Electronics Association and nine other trade groups sent the attached letter to the California Energy Commission on its misguided move to regulate battery chargers. Yesterday, CEC held a staff workshop in the proceeding.
The following statement can be attributed to Douglas Johnson, vice president of technology policy at CEA:
The California Energy Commission’s proposal to regulate battery chargers is misguided, wasteful and unnecessary. With a federal rulemaking underway, there is simply no need for this state agency to start a proceeding that would waste California taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.
This latest proposal by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to regulate battery chargers continues the agency’s unfortunate habit of pushing regulations based on poor data and analysis, misleading assumptions, and reports from third parties with vested interests. This latest regulatory proposal by the CEC follows its recent and flawed rulemaking concerning televisions, in which the Commission adopted prescriptive rules on TV power consumption, essentially adopting a backward-looking policy for a forward-looking industry. Our recent experience with the CEC’s rulemakings suggests that the CEC’s process is more about creating unnecessary regulations than saving energy.
From a policy perspective, the CEC’s use of outdated data artificially inflates the estimated energy “savings” from regulation, which in turn presents misleading claims to policymakers and the public regarding the Commission’s contributions to California’s energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
Flat-panel, high-definition digital TVs and other consumer electronics are highly energy efficient today because of technological innovation and the success of the federal government’s voluntary ENERGY STAR program during the past several years. A recent study commissioned by CEA showed that the active power use of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) plummeted 63 percent from 2003 to the 2010, and the active power use of plasma TVs dropped 41 percent from 2008 to 2010. TV manufacturers have invested millions to improve the energy performance of today’s digital TVs.
These manufacturers stepped up to the plate long before the Commission began its regulatory process. Manufacturers deserve to have their achievements recognized and accounted for by the CEC in hard, reasonable, and reliable numbers before the Commission decides that regulation is necessary or justified.
Please contact me with any questions.
Senior Manager, Environmental Communications Consumer Electronics Association
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