ENERGY EFFICIENCY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

NATIONAL ECYCLING FRAMEWORK

Through the eCycling Leadership Initiative in 2011, Consumer electronics industry leaders launched the first-ever industry-wide electronics recycling initiative to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016. Known as the "Billion Pound Challenge", the eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the more than 7,500 e-waste recycling collection sites currently sponsored by industry; increase the amount electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and provide transparent metrics on eCycling efforts.

  • September 11, 2013 - CEA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)® have selected a winner and a runner-up for this year’s Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Challenge. Both the winning solution and the runner up focused on using recycled CRT glass as a component for vitrification of nuclear waste. Vitrification involves the melting of nuclear waste materials with glass-forming additives so that the final vitreous product incorporates the waste contaminants.  The winning solutions will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000 in prize money, respectively and were unveiled on September 11 at the 2013 E-Scrap Conference. 
  • September 2013 - CEA filed comments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the Proposed Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products on behalf of CEA member companies that manufacture, sell, import, and distribute consumer electronics products that may contain or consist of small amounts of composite wood products such as speaker cabinets or speaker components.

    CEA requested EPA to include a de minimis exception to the rule to provide for regulatory relief for companies that use only small amounts of composite wood products (5 square feet), based on the amount contained in a finished product, not on the amount that is used in the product’s fabrication.
  • July 2013 - CEA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI)® are in the process of reviewing more than 100 submissions for their technical Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Challenge to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled CRT glass.

    The winner will receive a $10,000 award and the solution will be announced to industry, government officials and other stakeholders at the E-Scrap Conference on Sept. 11-12. In addition, the challenge winner will be invited to serve as a panelist at E-Scrap with two winners of CEA’s previous CRT challenge, Simon Greer and Mario Rosato, to discuss innovative uses for recycled CRT glass.
  • May 21, 2013 - CEA revealed the results of a recent national survey of electronics recyclers conducted by the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass management in the U.S. The survey found that while ample markets and downstream vendors appear to exist for recycling CRT glass, about 20 percent of recyclers reported difficulties and are seeking solutions to avoid stockpiling this product, which for many years was the technology of choice for displays such as televisions, computer screens and diagnostic equipment.  The survey was presented at a CRT Stakeholders meeting co-hosted by CEA, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)® and the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) ®.

    The stakeholder meeting included a review of recent survey data, discussion with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state officials concerning CRT glass regulation, and a discussion of efforts by CEA, ISRI and others to find new uses for old CRT glass.

  • April 24, 2013 - The U.S. consumer electronics industry continues to make strides toward increasing electronics recycling across the nation, according to a new report released by CEA. Second Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative tracks the efforts of the CE industry nationwide to make recycling electronics as easy as purchasing electronics – and to make responsible recycling of electronics an option for consumers in all 50 states. The report revealed that 585 million pounds of electronics were responsibly recycled in 2012 by CE companies working in the eCycling Leadership Initiative; as of April 2013, there are more than 8,000 responsible recycling locations available to consumers nationwide; and by the end of 2012, 99 percent of the recycling handled by eCycling Leadership Initiative participants was conducted in third-party certified recycling facilities.
  • April 17, 2013 - The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) held the first meeting of its newly formed Working Group on the Rigid Plastic Packaging Container (RPPC) Rules. CEA was asked to serve on this Working Group, which will play a role in helping CalRecycle develop outreach and guidance documents for regulated entities under the RPPC rules. CalRecycle is working to overcome significant resource constraints and has revised its website to provide better information to potentially regulated entities, will issue guidance documents and a FAQ document, and will host a workshop on July 23 to help educate and inform the regulated community of the law and requirements. In 2012, CEA filed numerous requests for clarification on the RPPC rules on behalf of members, and CalRecycle is only now beginning to address industry concerns.
  • April 2013 - CEA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) launched a technical Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Challenge to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled CRT glass. As CRT technology has been displaced in the market by liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diode (LED) and plasma displays, the consumer electronics and recycling industries are working to find inventive and creative new ways to recycle old CRT glass. Over the coming years, more than two billion pounds, or a thousand tons, of legacy CRT TVs and monitors are expected to enter the recycling stream. And with demand for old CRT glass to make new CRT glass waning, there is an increased need for new environmentally-sound, economically sustainable uses for this material. CEA and ISRI will accept submissions for this crowd-sourced technical competition until June 30, 2013. The winning solution will be chosen based on economic and environmental benefits, and CEA will award $10,000 to the winner. CEA and ISRI will publicize and share solution(s) with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, and encourage implementation.

ENERGY USE DISCLOSURES FOR ELECTRONICS

CEA is dedicated to providing information to consumers regarding energy use of their consumer electronics products. CEA’s efforts include developing test procedures for measurement, gathering current data, providing online tools and information, and contributing to the Federal Trade Commission’s rulemaking on national energy labeling requirements.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Voluntary, market-oriented programs and initiatives, including industry-led standards, are a proven and successful approach to advancing energy efficiency in consumer electronics. CEA works cooperatively with governments in the development of energy efficiency initiatives and opposes mandates that stifle innovation, reduce consumer choice, and limit product features and services.

  • September 4, 2013 - CEA released the CEA 2013 Sustainability Report illustrating the consumer electronics (CE) industry's progress in advancing green initiatives. This report highlights company-specific initiatives and achievements since our last CE industry sustainability report in 2010. This report also highlights key sustainability areas like electronics recycling and energy efficiency. By leveraging new partnerships, CE manufacturers, retailers and others are working with governments, NGOs and stakeholders to increase sustainability in the CE industry.
  • September 2013 -  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will consider A.1829-B (Hevesi) and companion bill S.1186-B (Maziarz), which amend provisions of the Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2005 pertaining to certain consumer audio and video products. The bills establish a new environmental performance standard for the procurement of consumer audio and video products purchased for use by state agencies, and amend a provision of the 2005 law relating to the authority of the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop energy consumption standards.

    CEA supported the legislation to ensure that the Energy Law recognizes the quick pace of innovation and aligns more closely with the competitive dynamic among manufacturers to make products more energy efficient.  A decision is expected from the Cuomo administration in the coming weeks.
  • July 2013 - In late July, CEA had two important meetings with Mexican government agency representatives regarding Mexico’s proposed draft regulation for standby power, which would impact several categories of consumer electronics with energy use limits and requirements for local testing, certification and labeling. The meetings with SENER, Mexico’s ministry of energy, and COFEMER, Mexico’s regulatory improvement commission, were impactful and could represent a turning point in CEA’s effort to address the challenge of a poorly-justified and misaligned regulation in Mexico and the opportunity for harmonization of energy efficiency policies for consumer electronics in North America.
  • July 2013 - Earlier this year, CEA responded to the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) invitation to participate in a pre-rulemaking on energy efficiency regulations for computers, displays, game consoles, set-top boxes and network equipment and subsequently participated in a CEC workshop. On July 29, CEA submitted comments to the CEC in response to its recent Invitation to Submit Proposals for Consumer Electronics (Docket #12-AAER-2A in the 2012-2013 Appliance Efficiency Pre-Rulemaking). CEA’s comments focused on set-top boxes and our industry’s Voluntary Agreement, which may also serve as a model for addressing other high-tech product categories going forward.

    In addition, in a separate letter to the CEC on July 29, CEA highlighted a procedural concern regarding CEC’s inclusion of network equipment in its pre-rulemaking.
  • July 2013 - CEA-supported energy efficiency legislation, Senate Bill 1186-B/Assembly Bill 1829-B, has passed the New York legislature and is awaiting signature by Gov. Cuomo. The legislation would amend provisions of the Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2005 pertaining to certain consumer audio and video products and would establish a new environmental performance standard for the procurement of consumer audio and video products purchased for use by state agencies.
  • July 2013 - The U.S. Department of Energy is taking initial procedural steps toward potential future regulation of computers and servers, an action that appears consistent with the Obama Administration’s intention to advance global warming/climate change policy objectives through federal agencies and rulemaking processes. DOE recently published two notices seeking comments on DOE’s proposed determination that computers and computer servers qualify as federally-covered products based on their average annual power consumption. DOE has the authority to designate products as “covered” under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and thereafter could pursue the development of test procedures and energy conservation standards.
  • June 13, 2013 - Oregon’s Senate Bill 692 was signed by the governor on June 13.  The legislation duplicates California’s energy efficiency regulations for battery chargers and televisions.  CEA was successful in amending the bill to include an exemption for the largest TVs, ensuring that Oregon did not go beyond California’s 2009 regulation.  CEA also supported a technical fix to the battery charger provision in the bill.
  • May 2013 - CEA responded to the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) invitation to participate in a pre-rulemaking on energy efficiency standards for computers, displays, game consoles, set-top boxes and network equipment.  CEA submitted written comments to the CEC on May 9 and participated in a workshop on May 29.  During the past seven years, CEC has pursued three separate rulemakings impacting electronics, and in each case, stakeholders identified flaws and shortcomings in the CEC’s regulatory justification.  As the CEC looks for new opportunities to regulate electronics, CEA is advocating for more cost-effective and appropriate policies, programs and industry initiatives that already exist for these electronics product categories and encouraging the CEC to explore new measures that rely on market-oriented incentives rather than regulatory mandates.  The CEC is now soliciting proposals, due July 29, for addressing these five product categories.
  • April 26, 2013 - CEA submitted comments  to the Department of Energy requesting that DOE conclude or terminate its rulemaking without setting a federal test procedure for televisions. In its comments, CEA argued that DOE’s adoption of a federal test procedure for TVs would create confusion, add to U.S. firms’ testing burdens, undermine the international and U.S. consensus standards process, undermine international harmonization, and create economic diseconomies with most of the rest of the world, which relies on the international standards.
  • April 8, 2013 - CEA submitted comments to the Department of Energy opposing the adoption of a federal test procedure and federal energy standards for set-top boxes. CEA argued that the rulemaking is totally unnecessary in light of the existing industry test procedure, CEA-2043. CEA also argued that DOE’s development of a test procedure undermines the private sector’s role in developing industry standards and that DOE’s pursuit of energy use limits undermines the Voluntary Agreement for set-top boxes adopted by all the major multichannel video providers and set-top box manufacturers in December 2012.
     

THE ENERGY STAR PROGRAM

CEA has long supported ENERGY STAR as the most effective and proactive program to encourage consumers to make more energy-conscious choices. Home electronics were responsible for 59 percent of the energy savings achieved by the program for residential products in 2008, according a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CEA is concerned, however, that EPA’s recently-mandated changes to ENERGY STAR are creating unreasonable burdens for partners and harming international expansion of the program.

  •  July 2013 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Final Draft Version 1.0 ENERGY STAR Small Network Equipment (SNE) Specification and related documents for public comment. Comments on the documents are due to EPA no later than Aug. 12, 2013. EPA anticipates finalizing the SNE Specification by Sept. 1, 2013, at which time it would become effective and products could begin being certified to the specification.

SMART GRID