A trio of consumer electronics giants is being accused of exploiting government testing flaws for the energy consumption of TVs, costing owners of newer models as much as $1.2 billion on their electricity bills over a decade.
The international nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) singles out Samsung Electronics, Vizio and LG Electronics as taking advantage of poor Department of Energy (DOE) testing methods for the energy use of new TVs, with 2015 and 2016 models of sets 32 inches and larger using up double the energy as promised.
Requests for comment to all three companies were not immediately returned Sept. 21. NRDC said it shared its results with the companies “and none of them disputed the accuracy of the results or claimed they were limited to a subset of models.”
“It appears that some major manufacturers have modified their TV designs to get strong energy-use marks during government testing but may not perform as well in consumer homes,” Noah Horowitz, senior scientist and director, of the NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, said in a statement. “These ‘under the hood’ changes dramatically increase a TV’s energy use and environmental impact, usually without the user’s knowledge.