Toshiba has just announced the release of its CV550 LCD TV, which boasts an impressive 4.5-star energy efficiency rating, currently the highest in Australia.

Towards the end of last year, Environment Minister Peter Garrett, added televisions to the list of appliances affected by the new 10-star labelling scheme. Although only voluntary for TVs at the moment, it was a clear warning for TV manufacturers to clean up their act.

The next stage of the labelling scheme will start on 1 April 2009 and will require all TVs to display the new energy efficiency labels.

The final stage will be implemented on 1 October 2009, where televisions found to be below one-star will be banned from sale in Australia.

The recent announcement by Toshiba is refreshing for the industry because it demonstrates that manufacturers are taking a positive approach to the environmental impact of their televisions, an area that has been severely neglected in the past.

“Television energy use has increased fourfold between 1986 and 2006 and is continuing to grow due to technology, increased hours of use and bigger screens,” commented Garrett.

The new 10-star scheme was introduced last year to encourage manufacturers to continually improve their products energy efficiency, and it seems that it is finally paying off.

Before Toshiba’s announcement, the highest rated models on the market where from Sharp and Panasonic, both achieved a three-star rating. This heralded a lot of praise for the manufacturers and many thought that a higher rating would not be achieved any time soon.

But Toshiba has showed a lot of determination and pioneered the way in green friendly television technology.

In addition to this the new CV550 also features a 40” screen size; Dynalight technology, for richer black colouring; and CineSpeed for higher response speeds.

It is available now from authorised Toshiba retailers for a RRP of $1,799.