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Digital Switchover

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of relative energy use of (a) digital and (b) analogue broadcast receiving devices. (129485)

The Government through their Market Transformation Programme (MTP) have analysed the performances of over 630 televisions sold in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and have concluded that the difference in energy consumption between analogue and integrated digital televisions (IDTVs) is negligible.

The annual energy consumption of a television varies significantly with screen size and television type, and defining what constitutes a ‘typical’ television is difficult. However, for a 32in. widescreen cathode-ray television, MTP estimates that the annual energy consumption will be 292 kWh, and 310 kWh for a LCD screen of the same size. A 42in. (a typical size for this technology) Plasma TV will consume 746 kWh per year.

The total energy consumption of all UK televisions has risen in recent years, but this is not as a result of the presence of integrated digital tuners but a function of increased TV ownership, the trend towards larger screen sizes, and the migration away from cathode-ray televisions to other technologies.

MTP does not currently have sufficient information to provide a comparison between the performance of analogue and digital (DAB) radios. However, MTP has identified that many portable DAB radios are supplied with external power supply units which are less efficient—and therefore consume more energy—than those sold with comparable analogue products. MTP will be working with retailers and manufacturers to seek to address this issue.

As these are relatively new products, there are likely to be efficiency gains as the products mature.