With Korean electricity costs rising nearly 5%, Samsung and LG have created a two-horse race to increase energy efficiency for all consumer electronics (CE) products. What they improve in Korea will change the landscape for all household appliances worldwide. The CE manufacturers that don’t follow their lead will lose market share to these two industry titans.
The US Dept. of Energy estimates that 50% of household energy comes from appliances, refrigeration, cooling/heating and consumer electronics (see chart). So it with a laser-like focus that Samsung and LG are making continuous improvements to energy efficiency:
- Samsung and LG just launched smart air conditioners that significantly reduce electricity usage. Samsung cuts energy use by 87% and LG by 88%.
- LG is piloting an energy recycling system that reuses the heat generated in the air conditioning process for water heating systems in offices, hospitals and schools.
- Samsung and LG also launched high-efficiency refrigerators with Samsung’s improvement being 20-30% more energy efficient and LG’s being at least 11% better.
Other consumer electronics companies are striving forward yet their improvements are not as substantial. Both Sony and Philips offer zero-watt standby energy saving TVs. Even GE, who is among the world’s leading appliance maker, compares their 2011 refrigerator energy improvements to non-Energy-Star® rated products which is an “apples-to-oranges” comparison – a touch of greenwashing. Samsung and LG ensure that their improvements are always measured by their previously released products in the refrigerator, washer/dryer, air conditioning and TV categories.
If a consumer is in the market for the next appliance or consumer electronics product, it is a coin toss between Samsung and LG given their ongoing advances in energy efficiency.
How important is energy efficiency in your next product purchase? Your comments are welcome.
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© 2011 by Ed Valdez. All rights reserved.