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Sony efficiency push not on standby

The electronics firm has a new range of TVs with an average energy use of 0.2W on standby

Sony's range of TVs launched this month have close to zero watts energy use when on standby, a Sony executive told last night.

The Bravia range of TVs uses an average of 0.2W of energy, while some use none at all. Until recently the average TV used at least 1W of energy when on standby.

"As a company, most of Sony's carbon footprint comes from the energy use of the products we manufacture, so we've tried to address that very carefully," said Serge Foucher, Sony's vice president in Europe.

"Not only does the Bravia range show a 40 per cent decrease in energy consumption when switched on, the TVs have next to no energy use when on standby."

Sony have achieved the figures by using new components, and developing a system which recycles energy efficiently within the product.

Standby is a large issue in consumer electronics.

Research from the International Energy Agency found that products on standby are responsible for at least 10 per cent of energy use in the average home, while other studies found that residential standby power consumption in China requires the electrical output equivalent of at least six 500MW power plants.

Emissions from its products aren't technically included in Sony's carbon footprint under the EU Emissions trading Scheme.

But Foucher says Sony felt responsible as governments and associations were starting to point the finger at consumer electronics firms as not being environmentally responsible, and so decided to act.

"We didn't initially see a huge amount of consumer demand for energy efficiency either," he said. "Though when it's there, they like it."

Foucher says today Sony's engineers take into account a huge amount of environmental factors when manufacturing a product, including disassembly, shape, volume and energy efficiency.

Changing the shape of some products alone has led to a 27 per cent reduction in packaging.

Asked why the company didn't abolish the standby function altogether, Foucher said:

"We are not eco-terrorists, we believe it is possible for environmental concerns and consumer convenience to go hand in hand."

Sony was rated fifth out of 18 companies in Greenpeace's guide to consumer electronics.

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