By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Sony Australia today announced it will include the Australian Government’s voluntary energy labelling scheme across its BRAVIA LCD TV range. The first TVs in Australia to carry the energy consumption labels will be the ZX1 and EX1.

This scheme is similar to the one currently applying to refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and dryers. It is currently optional for TV suppliers, but will become mandatory later in the near future. The United Kingdom and the United States already have a similar system in place.

“The interest in energy consumption in TVs will be higher than ever in the year ahead,” said Sony Australia head of corporate communications Nina Hearne. “Not only is there increased pressure on household spending on energy bills, but there is also an increased sensitivity towards environmental concerns, including energy use. With many people considering upgrading their existing set ahead of digital switchover, it’s a good time to raise awareness of these issues.

“The energy labelling scheme is already relied upon by consumers in selecting white goods, and it is a welcome addition to the TV market. It is a factor that can assist in evaluating one product or technology against another – for example LCD over Plasma, as well as what the energy consumption and financial costs and benefits of the product will be over its lifetime.

“While a mandatory energy labelling scheme won’t happen until October 2009, we think it’s important to start getting consumers, and retailers, familiar with the labels, how to interpret them and how to use them as part of the decision-making process when purchasing a new TV.

“We are delighted to announce that our range of BRAVIA TVs from this point on will bear the energy consumption labels. Globally, TV energy efficiency has been an important factor in Sony product design for many years combined with recycled and reduced packaging and care over the type and quality of materials used in the manufacturing process. All these elements have been prioritised to minimise the overall environmental footprint of the product.”