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The energy-efficient TVs you want but may not be able to buy

November 11, 2009 |  3:24 pm

TV A Rasmussen Reports poll released Tuesday seems to confirm a point The Times made in an editorial last month on a California regulation that would ban large-screen TVs from being sold because they consume too much energy: Leave it up to the market to catch up on electricity-inefficient televisions. An excerpt from the Rasmussen summary:

A new national telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports finds that 66% of Americans oppose a law that would effectively ban the sale of big-screen televisions to save energy. Sixteen percent (16%) favor the idea, and 18% are not sure.

Most adults (53%) say being able to buy whatever kind of TV they want is more important than conserving energy. However, 37% rate conserving energy as more important.

Still, 54% are willing to pay more for a television that is more energy-efficient. Thirty percent (30%) are not, and 16% aren’t sure.

Conservation-minded folks (this bike and bus commuter considers himself one) may be discouraged by the majority opinion that most people feel being able to buy whatever mega-screen television they darn well please is more important than saving energy. But the energy-unregulated TV market is working in conservation's favor: Nearly the same percentage of people -- 54% -- say efficiency is important enough to them that would pay more for televisions that use less electricity.

As The Times' editorial pointed out, the new regulation would actually hamper the innovation already underway in the industry. The Rasmussen poll adds another point: California's action may deprive consumers of the energy-efficient entertainment they'd pay a premium for.

Hat tip: Katherine Mangu-Ward and Reason's Hit and Run.

-- Paul Thornton

Photo credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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