Electricity-hungry widescreen TVs spike home energy use

Jonesing for one of those technolicious, 61-inch, flat-screen, hi-def, make-your-morning-coffee televisions? It’s gonna cost you — right in the utility bill. The Natural Resources Defense Council predicts that if current design standards hold, TVs and related accoutrements (DVD players, etc.) will account for about 10 percent of home electricity use by 2009. TVs alone will suck up about 50 percent more juice by then, for a grand total of 70 billion kilowatt-hours per year in the U.S. That will mean a lot more carbon pumped into the atmosphere just so you can get a good close look at Teri Hatcher’s, um, pores. The U.S. EPA, utility company Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Energy Commission, and NRDC will be strategizing later this month about how best to measure a TV’s energy use and get manufacturers to create more energy-efficient models. “People keep a TV five to 15 years, so we really need to get started making them as efficient as they can be,” said NRDC’s Noah Horowitz.