Energy Star 4.0 Rules Now in Effect 
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Written by Dick Ward   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency's new Energy Star rules are now in full effect.  Any TVs made before May 1, 2010 still get the friendly blue tag on their boxes if they're Energy Star 3.0 compliant, but every set that comes out now has to comply with the new standard.

The rules are a lot stricter than the 3.0 standard, but in a sense, it's just the EPA catching up.  By the old standards, a 50 inch set could consume up to 318 watts while running.  That number is incredibly lax by today's standards.  Even Panasonic's 54 inch VT25 plasma only uses 159.

Energy Star 4.0 rules require that 50 inch sets consume 153 watts or less.  It's less than half of the wattage required for 3.0, but most manufacturers won't have any trouble with it.  In fact, most, if not all, 2010 models from the major TV makers are already Energy Star 4.0 compliant.

The bigger change will come in May of 2012, when Energy Star 5.0 is set to roll out.  That would drop the max power consumption of 50 inch sets to 108 watts.  Interestingly, that number stays the same for sets above 50 inches too. 

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