American Military University
Rule Concerning Disclosures Regarding Energy Consumption and Water Use of Certain Home Appliances and Other Products Required under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ("Appliance Labeling Rule")
Consumer Electronics Labeling, Project No: P094201 The ultimate goal of regulation is consumer protection. The government, in debating proposed regualation, must weigh the benefits of the regulation to the consumer against the cost of the regulation to both the government and to the entity being regulated. The "Appliance Labeling Rule" proposes, among other things, disclosure of energy usage through labeling on televisions. I agree with the proposal because it will not create a significant burden on the producers but could sigificantly effect the decision making process of the consumer considering the increasing proliferation of the appliances being proposed for regulation. Television ownership and and use has increased dramatically over the years. Cable television expansion and the proliferation of satelite television has expanded the televsion viewing audiences and the number of hours spent watching television. Statistics from the Nielsen Company show that over 114.5 million households own televisions and the average American household owns around three televisions on average and those numbers are increasing. Additionally, TVs, although they are becoming more energy efficient, are using more energy because they are getting bigger and more complicated. Average annual energy costs for televisions can be anywhere from a low of four dollars to a high of almost ninety, and that is per television. For households that own three or more televisions, the knowledge gained through energy labeling represents a significant annual savings by purchasing the correct television sets. The savings to the consumer, however, must be weighed against the cost to the manufacturer. Currently, the means of officially testing energy use on televisions is the roadblock to regulation because the previously mandated method is obsolete. There are, however, viable and cheap methods of testing television energy outputs as shown by the Energy Star program and it would only be a matter of finding a middle ground on what source should be used to test, who should do the testing, and what label to use. Any information that the public can use for their benefit without undue burden on the government and industry is worth publishing. Television use and proliferation will only continue to increase and an informed public will save money and demand more energy efficient appliances, ultimately benefitting the environment.