Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #140

30 September 2010

Power Consumption of Televisions & Monitors

Television uses some 9.5% of the power used by the average Aussie home. I suspect that this portion is even higher in “stand alone” home power systems since they would not be using air con, electric heating etc. While LCD & plasma televisions are more efficient than the old style CRT type televisions, the total power used has not decreased because the screen size is increasing and more households are getting multiple televisions.

Increasing television efficiency is an important factor in reducing our carbon footprint (considering there are 18,000,000 TV’s in Australia - 2,000,000 are sold annually).

The good news for the consumer is that from 1 October all new TV’s imported into Australia should have a new Star label. The Star label rates the TV from 1 to 10 stars and gives the expected power used per year assuming the TV is on for 10 hours a day (!).

One of my favourite websites ( lists all TV’s – if you go to TV’s and click on the comprehensive data tab, you can see what each TV uses in run mode, on standby, per year etc. You can sort the results by the number of Stars, manufacturers, etc.

The September issue of Choice magazine tested a couple of dozen 102 - 107cm televisions for picture quality as well as power consumption.

These types of television were tested:

  • Plasma
  • LCD / CCFL backlighting
  • LCD / LED backlighting

The average plasma used 138 Watts and the older style LCD/CCFL used 139.5Watts. The good news is that the newer LCD/LED type averaged 91.5Watts. That is a substantial 34% energy saving.

Of the 21 seven and eight Star televisions listed at, 19 are of the new LCD/LED type.

Generally, these new televisions and computer monitors have ‘LED’ type written on the glossy labels.

With the increasing value of our dollar, they reckon Christmas time will be an ideal time to buy imported electronics. Might be time to put a TV in the Christmas stocking.

Reader Feedback - Electrolux Fridge

I recently received this feedback from Paul Lockwood, who obviously hails from Tassie:-

“Thanks for your informative newsletters & a special thanks for your review on fridges.

I must admit to being a little sceptical at first, however I purchased a 420L Electrolux Fridge freezer 2 weeks ago & it does in fact use no more power than the 250L Westinghouse fridge freezer with 12V Danfoss compressor conversion that has been in use here for 12 years. Actually I think it uses a little less. I bought the Electronic version 420L Electrolux Fridge ETE4200SCRH which is rated at 367kW/year, because it has a few special features I liked, it costs a little more than the manual version, however a fridge is a long term usage item so why not get the one you want . It’s so nice to have some space to put things & my wife & I will not miss the monthly manual defrost. I am pleasantly surprised at the advances in technology.

BTW I found the best deals to be on line - up to $200 cheaper even with delivery to Tassie”

Many thanks for this report Paul

Panel Shortage

The global PV market is set to soar higher than previously expected, according to solar inverter market leader, SMA Solar Technology. As a result, the company has raised its revenue guidance for the year, the second time it has done so in 2010. SMA Solar now expects the global photo voltaics market to reach approximately 17GW of new installations in 2010 and with more than 40% of the inverter market, is guiding revenue of between EUR1.7 and EUR1.9 billion.

Previously, SMA Solar had forecast the PV market would reach 14GW and company revenue of EUR1.5 to EUR1.8 billion.

Leading manufacturers such as Trina, Suntech & Kyocera are over subscribed with orders until 2011.

NSW Power Saving Program

NSW pensioners & Utility hardship customers can get a free energy assessment and a pack of goodies including:

  • 'eco switch' to turn off standby power
  • 4 energy efficient light bulbs
  • low flow showerhead
  • shower timer
  • tap aerator
  • draught-proof strips around the door
  • door snake

What will they think of next?

I am always amazed by the uses made with some of our products. The latest was an order from Spain to trial some of our PIR Motion Detectors to trigger cameras when a flock of vultures came to feed. Since the birds are very large, numerous and close to the PIRs, we are hopeful they will work. Let us know if you have any unusual uses for any of our products.

BTW, you can see our range of timers and Motion detectors in our Switches section.

Nimbin Solar Farm

We are currently installing over 40 kW of solar panels on a number of Nimbin Community buildings. You can see pics of the first three installations (Bowling Club, School of the Arts & Tomato Sauce Building) on our Facebook page. Blue Knob Hall and the Nimbin Headers Soccer Clubhouse are next on the agenda. Read more about the Nimbin Solar Farm project.

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.

Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)

Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Iluka, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Yamba via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

We also have sales agents in
Grafton:contact Andy Wilkinson directly on 0409 508 144, and
Tenterfield:contact Diamond J Legend directly on 0425 769 444.