Energy-guzzling flatscreen plasma televisions will soon be banned as part of the battle against climate change, ministers have told The Independent on Sunday.
"Minimum energy performance standards" for televisions are expected to be agreed across Europe this spring, they say, and this should lead to "phasing out the most inefficient TVs". At the same time, a compulsory labelling system will be drawn up to identify the best and worst devices.
The moves, which follow last week's withdrawal of the 100W incandescent lightbulb, are part of a drive to slow the rapid growth of electricity consumption in homes by phasing out wasteful devices and introducing more efficient ones. Giant plasma televisions – dubbed "the 4x4s of the living room" – can consume four times as much energy as traditional TVs that used cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
Over the past 30 years, the number of electric appliances and gadgets in a typical home has almost trebled – from 17 to 47 – as a host of devices from scanners to security systems, cappuccino makers to computer game consoles have joined the more traditional kettles, irons, vacuum cleaners and cookers. And the number of televisions in homes has also grown rapidly; there are now 60 million of them, one for every person in the country.