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Gadgets ‘driving up energy use’

Big TVs increasing CO2 emissions, says report

Two kids watching TV

Current rules don’t cover the programmes that are most popular with children

The growth of high-tech entertainment devices in the UK living rooms is driving up the amount of energy used in the nation’s homes, according to a new report.

It says that power consumption has leapt as the amount of gadgets and devices has grown.

For example, TVs can now be surrounded by a host of accessories including multiple speakers, a DVD player, hard-disk recorder, a set-top box, a games console, remote controls and other devices.

The report, by Financial consultant Deloitte, adds that TVs are also getting bigger and more power hungry. 

Digital switchover

Digital switchover, which is being phased in across the UK, is also boosting electricity usage as householders upgrade to digital set-top boxes.

Deloitte’s report says that forcing manufacturers to reduce the power consumption of devices when they’re on standby would be one way to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

It adds that some TV manufacturers have already brought out more energy-efficient sets.

And the report says that new technology already used in the small screens of some mobile phones could be developed to further cut TV power consumption.

Carbon dioxide emissions

In a separate move, BT has unveiled a range of energy-efficient home phones.

It says that more than 90% of its home phone range will be more energy efficient by this July.

BT says the new handsets use about half the power of previous models, but don’t cost any more to buy. And it estimates the switch to the new designs will cut customers’ combined CO2 emissions by 195,000 tonnes over three years.

The first phones in the range are the BT Graphite 1500 with answering machine, BT Graphite 1100, BT Freestyle 610 and BT Freestyle 650 with answering machine.

The new phones are available now from Argos, the BT online shop and other leading retailers.

Which? phones researcher Jon Barrow welcomed the move.

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