The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States announced last week that all televisions sold in the United States and manufactured after May 10, 2011 must display EnergyGuide labels so consumers shopping for TVs will have more information about different models and how much energy they use.

The yellow-and-black labels, which are required for all major appliances sold in the United States, estimate how much energy the device uses, compares energy use of similar products, and lists approximate annual operating costs.

In March 2009, the FTC sought comments on whether EnergyGuide labels should be required on a range of consumer electronics, including televisions. Based on the comments received, the FTC proposed in March 2010 that labels be required on televisions sold in the United States. A recent vote on the March proposal passed unanimously.

The new label, which must be visible on the front of any new television, will require several pieces of information: first, the television’s estimated annual energy cost; and second, a comparison with the annual energy cost of other televisions with similar screen sizes. Manufacturers can use either a triangular label or a rectangular label. Beginning in July 11, 2011, the amended rule will require websites that sell televisions to display an image of the full EnergyGuide label.

In Canada, similar Energuide labels are required for all major appliances sold. Just after the FTC proposal in March, Natural Resources Canada proposed EnerGuide labels be added to televisions sold in this country therefore it’s likely that Canadians will an Energuide label on sold in Canada in the next year.

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