01 October 2015

TVs less energy efficient in real life than in tests?

Today, the Guardian reported that the world’s largest TV manufacturer, Samsung, appears to use less energy during official testing conditions than they do during real-world use”. The claim, is based on testing results of ComplianTV, a project of which ECOS is an active member.
According to the ECOS and EEB led campaign Coolproducts, televisions account for up to 10% of the electricity usage of the average household. If such allegations were to be true, consumers would see their energy consumption increase, whilst never seeing sight of the money that energy-saving products have the potential of saving them.
Samsung has “firmly rejected” the claims of the article, stating that its “motion lightning feature”, “which reduces power consumption by reducing screen brightness when the picture on the screen is in motion”, is a standard out-of-the-box feature.
ECOS Director Laura Degallaix warned:With these claims being made so soon after the Volkswagen scandal, suspicions are rising towards industry testing methods. This situation brings the spotlight on not only product-testing, but also the accuracy of the information provided to consumers. This is why ECOS strongly advocates for test methods that reflect real-life conditions of product-use.”
ECOS works to avoid that manufacturers test their products in artificial modes (i.e. reduced functionalities or “eco-modes”), which would give them a rating too favourable. ECOS and Coolproducts have shed light on this issue in the past, such as with the “eco-mode” of water heaters, and we will continue doing so.
With regards to the television mode in question, ECOS welcomes the European Commission’s proposal of clarifying, in the ongoing revision of the television ecodesign regulation, that this practice is illegal. The proposal states that products found to behave differently under test conditions cannot be considered compliant. Put in a wider perspective, further attention and reinforcement of product testing needs to be undertaken by market surveillance authorities as a priority.
For further information, please contact ECOS Project Coordinator Alun Jones.
Image source: DisplayBlog

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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