You've seen them on refrigerators, you've carefully peeled them off washing machines. And now they're coming to a TV near you--they being EnergyGuide labels. This means shoppers can compare energy consumption--which can vary greatly between TVs, even those with the same technology and screen size, as easily as they compare price. (One model of 42-inch Philips LCD, for example, sucks up $40.35 worth of electricity in a year, according to CNET, a 42-inch LG LCD will use just $20.66 worth of electricity in that same year.) The U.S. Federal Trade Commissionannounced the new rule today, it goes into effect on 10 May 2011.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.