California is viewed as a leader in energy efficiency, but are all regulations created equal? In 2007, the California Energy Commission (CEC) proposed giving public utilities the ability to change the temperature in homes and businesses statewide via remote control to prevent strains on the state’s power supply. Thankfully, Californians recognized the obvious privacy implications of this regulation, not to mention the fact that it was economically counterproductive. Public outrage was swift, causing the CEC to drop the proposal.
But it seems like history is already repeating itself. The CEC is now proposing an arbitrary regulation on television electricity usage that would take 25 percent of LCD and plasma big screen televisions – and 100 percent of plasma TV’s over 60 inches – off the market entirely. According to a recent Resolution Economics, LLC study, if enacted, this proposal could destroy 4,600 jobs and cost California $50 million a year in lost tax revenues.