People complain there’s nothing new on TV, but soon shoppers can expect to see something different. That’s because recent amendments to the FTC’s Appliance Labeling Rule will require the familiar yellow-and-black EnergyGuide label on new televisions manufactured after May 10, 2011. Long featured on appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, EnergyGuide labels weren’t required back in the day because energy costs for TVs were generally low and there wasn’t much variation between models.
Fast forward three decades. You no longer have that walnut veneer television-HiFi combo in the rumpus room, TVs can use a lot more energy, and energy costs among competing models can vary greatly. So the FTC sought comments from the public and members of the industry about whether EnergyGuide labels should be required on a range of electronics, including TVs. Based on that feedback, the new rule requires a label with two main disclosures:
- the TV’s estimated annual energy cost; and
- a comparison with the annual energy cost of other TVs with similar screen sizes.
The final rule says that the new removable labels have to visible from the front of the TV. Manufacturers can use either a triangular or rectangular label.
An important note for online marketers: Starting July 11, 2011, websites that sell TVs will have to display an image of the full EnergyGuide label or link to one.