By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Niche hi-fi distributer WC Wedderspoon, says that the TV star ratings recently announced by Minister Peter Garrett are a little late and a compromise but they’re missing the bigger picture.

“Peter Garrett made his name as a musician with people playing his music, so I reckon he could take the time to have an interest in the products that play his music in people’s houses,” said WC Wedderspoon general manager, Michael Williams.

Williams believes that a star rating system for energy efficiency should cover hi-fi equipment as well, but more importantly, it should apply not just to the energy usage, but to all stages of production and he says the products should be recyclable.

“The bottom line is, what the hell is the use of energy efficient landfill? We would like it [the energy rating system] to be an assessment of the entire product from cradle to grave and we would love energy star ratings to extend to all other components of a home theatre hi-fi system, not just TVs.”

Williams has a vested interest in the debate. His German-manufactured T&A hi-fi equipment and speakers include products that have already achieved the one-watt stand by power usage that the Government says will be the required standard by 2012. He also says that T&A has been prioritising energy-efficiency in manufacturing and recyclability since its inception 27 years ago.

“Our issue is not that products must be more energy efficient, but that the energy star rating does not take into account manufacturing processes, energy sources, recyclability, take back programs, etc, etc.

“Indeed one of these energy efficient TVs could be manufactured using dirty power, slave labour, no RoHS processes and have a planned lifecycle of 18 months with no recyclability and, because it consumes a certain level of power, still rate highly on the energy star scale. Great. Energy efficient landfill for which the manufacturing processes pumped huge amounts of CO2 into the air."