Sony employs energy label scheme across BRAVIA range
The company’s first Full HD wireless LCD TVs, the ZX1 and EX1, will be the first in Sony’s line-up to arrive in Australia – from this week – carrying an energy consumption label. All future BRAVIA LCD TVs from Sony will also feature the energy rating labels.
The TV Energy Rating labelling system is a new initiative to present information about the efficiency of home entertainment products, and brings televisions in line with appliances such as fridges, washers and dryers, which have been featuring energy comparisons for a number of years. Sony is implementing the scheme as part of the Australian Government’s voluntary labelling program, which will develop into a mandatory program later in the year, requiring all TV screens to be registered and labelled.
This government initiative aligns Australia with other markets in the world that have already introduced energy labels for TVs, such as the UK and US.
“The interest in energy consumption in TVs will be higher than ever in the year ahead,” says head of corporate communications Nina Hearne. “Not only is there increased pressure on household spending on energy bills, but there is also an increased sensitivity towards environmental concerns, including energy use. With many people considering upgrading their existing set ahead of digital switchover, it’s a good time to raise awareness of these issues.
“The energy labelling scheme is already relied upon by consumers in selecting white goods, and it is a welcome addition to the TV market. It is a factor that can assist in evaluating one product or technology against another – for example LCD over Plasma, as well as what the energy consumption and financial costs and benefits of the product will be over its lifetime.
“While a mandatory energy labelling scheme won’t happen until October 2009, we think it’s important to start getting consumers, and retailers, familiar with the labels, how to interpret them and how to use them as part of the decision-making process when purchasing a new TV.
“We are delighted to announce that our range of BRAVIA TVs from this point on will bear the energy consumption labels. Globally, TV energy efficiency has been an important factor in Sony product design for many years combined with recycled and reduced packaging and care over the type and quality of materials used in the manufacturing process. All these elements have been prioritised to minimise the overall environmental footprint of the product.
“We are confident that our BRAVIA range will compare extremely favourably in the marketplace and we urge consumers to seek out the energy rating comparison of products in their consideration set”.
Governments have been tracking trends in the efficiency of appliances and evaluating the impact of energy consumption in the market since 1993. Appliances that have typically been covered in energy efficiency ratings to date include fridges, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and freezers. The Australian Government introduced a voluntary labelling system for TVs in December 2008 with mandatory labelling due to be implemented from 1 October 2009.
The Energy Rating label, first introduced in 1986 in NSW and Victoria, enables consumers to compare the energy efficiency of domestic appliances on a fair and equitable basis. It also provides incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy performance of appliances.
The Energy Rating Label has two main features:
-The star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model’s energy efficiency; and,
-The comparative energy consumption (kilowatt hours/year) provides an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance based on the tested energy consumption and information.
Energy efficiency may not be the most important consideration for all consumers buying a new appliance, but it is certainly a key factor for many consumers. It has been suggested that many consumers use energy efficiency as a tool to differentiate between the final two or three products that meet their other selection criteria.
Many consumers shopping for appliances have a checklist of features that may not include energy efficiency in the first instance. However, once they establish how much they wish to spend and decide upon key features, then energy consumption often becomes a valuable selling feature.
The energy consumption on the energy label can be used to calculate the cost of operating an appliance. The operating cost is also known as the “second price tag,” and can help customers choose between models.
Energy is so much a part of life it is often used without thinking, especially when it’s in the form of electricity. Most electricity in Australia comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and gas. Among other things, this produces carbon dioxide. With the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes the risk of global warming.
Energy costs money too – not just for individuals but for the community as well. Using it efficiently does mean saving on energy bills, and it also means delaying the building of new power sources for longer.
For more information on the Australian Government’s energy labelling scheme and how the star ratings are calculated visit www.energyrating.gov.au.