Should CHOICE reviews place more emphasis on energy efficiency?

Might I recommend that you move to Canberra?

We have been on 100% renewable electricity here for two years now.

It still leaves the embedded emissions (and the transport emissions etc), which will now be 100% of your TV’s contribution to global heating, but at least you’ve eliminated a substantial chunk of your carbon footprint by the simple step of changing where you live.

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I did live in Canberra for three years in the late 1970s gregcarman. It’s good that our national capital enjoys 100% green electricity, but it sort of misses the point doesn’t it? I don’t have a Samsung 65" TV and even if I did, one person moving to Canberra with their TV isn’t going to have a significant effect on Australia’s CO2 emissions will it? The point is that 25,600,000 Australians outside of the ACT don’t have the opportunity to use 100% green electricity, so if Choice actually HIGHLIGHTED POWER CONSUMPTION it would make a significant difference.

May I applaud the enthusiasm to raise awareness. Is it also important to leave room for others to make the decisions most appropriate to their circumstances?

If we were able to use 100% green power.
Many Australians can.

  • Tasmania is 100% renewable,
  • South Australia had achieved 60% renewable for 2020,
  • Nearly 3 million Australian properties have rooftop PV (more than 25% of residences),
  • The majority of Australian homes have the option to purchase green energy, if they choose.
    *Edit - added point of clarification. Consumers (residential use) account for 25-30% of Australian electricity consumption (generation). IE non residential uses account for the greater portion of carbon emissions from the grid.

As a Choice member I had no difficulty finding the power consumption details for each TV model reviewed. Enough to make an informed decision. There are more than 15 million light passenger vehicles in use by consumers and another 4 million light commercial, trucks buses etc. Depending on annual usage the GHG emissions from transport for each are thousands of kgs for each and every vehicle.

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Yes MarkM,

  • Tasmania is 100% renewable,- population: 540,000
  • South Australia had achieved [60% renewable for 2020] -population: 1.8 million po(What South Australia can teach us about renewable energy | World Economic Forum),
  • Nearly 3 million Australian properties have rooftop PV (more than 25% of residences), leaving 17 million people (at 3 people over dwelling) who don’t have solar rooftop PV
  • The majority of Australian homes have the option to purchase green energy, if they choose. and all we would have brownouts and blackouts every day if more than 30% of people elected to buy 100% green electricity.
    Conclusion: Australia is lagging compared to Britain and Germany.

I got a solar system added to offset some higher use my solar system in some at least doubled my power use. Since I am renting I am paying extra to source my energy from ‘green’ energy. On the other hand I probably have my TV on less than the the figure used by Choice.
Basically their is different ways that people may offset what they like to do. If you so into the environment I hope you use a bicycle that is recycled because the carbon used to by anything new including an EV car will take quite some time to make up by green energy. So really the whole system needs to be taken into account, is the better consumption model built on coal electricity and the higher consumption using green electricity. How far is raw products needing to travel before they made up into a whole. I am not sure if I pay CHOICE enough to work this out though! PS this is also an issue with green energy being built such as solar and wind generator, lithium battery and dam storage all use diesel and petrol energy either at the mine site or in the logistic and then where is power coming to build it in the factories?

So for some people CHOICE’s fight to have repairable products is more green and meaningful than this blog, because that big TV that you had to buy because I hope that you could not repair your old one rather than you just wanted to upgrade (in which point are not more interested in what a TV is suppose be for i.e. picture and sound quality as well as reception and connectivity?) has already required far too much carbon to build NOW when we are an environment crisis rather than later when we use green? energy…

One last point, I thanks CHOICE for giving us all the information to make a different choice to their recommendation. CHOICE believes in its subscribes ability to use their own brain power to make choices that best suits their values and priorities, thanks for not thinking of your subscribers as fools as some publication seem too.



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@douglaspaine has asked how to engage Choice directly and his position is a complex issue with many facets having been called out by others. It seems time to pause this topic for participants to reflect. It will reopen on Friday.


This topic was automatically opened after 5 days.

Mention of David Attenborough reminds me of something that he said on, about all our present environmental issues - including the poor power ratings of TV sets - being due to a surfit of people on this planet. If only 90% of us would volunteer to become extinct, those who remain wouldn’t need to worry about energy-hungry TVs. By implication, anybody who is fussing over TV ratings might perhaps be considered to be in denial of their urgent duty to the planet to self-sacrifice.

In the meantime, while those preparing to do the noble thing are putting their affairs in order, I also remember something that Sir David said, about us all being different - meaning that we all have different needs, priorities, resources and opportunities, which in turn means that we each choose - or are forced to accept - different ways of solving life’s problems… which in further consequence will sometimes mean that TV energy efficiency may not always be top of mind for even the most dedicated environmental warrior. My beef here - my soap-box topic - is the occasional failure of Choice writers and editors to recognise these innate personal differences, and to recommend products on overly narrow criteria.

Either which way, while I applaud inclusion of all relevant information in Choice reports, I strongly object to giving any single issue - energy efficiency or anything else - primacy in the formulation of recommendations. On this, I take to the barricades!

Well said Macklian! My view is that the climate crisis is the greatest existential threat in human history (and I place both world wars and bubonic plagues behind it on my scale, because none of those involved unforeseeable tipping points as risks to the climate). It is high time Choice recognised this fact and altered its recommendations accordingly. Although Sir David said we all have different priorities, we are all now in the same boat.

With all due respect, I question whether we are all in the same boat at all. If we look at past extinction events, going back even a couple billion years ago, each has had its survivors. Today, there are quite obviously lots of people who have decided that they - or their descendants - are going to beat the odds, and become the dinosaur-bird-equivalants of the future. There are almost certainly also some whose atttitude is ‘bring it on!’; for such people, it is possible that an enery-gobbling TV is just the ticket! You and I may question their judgment, even their sanity… but to question their existance is as pointless as denying the present environmental changes.

So the question for Choice reviewers is: do they make their recommendations exclusively for those who believe that climate change will kill them, for those who believe it won’t, or for all comers? My opinion is that Choice people should act like scientists, and call the shots about the products they study without fear or favour, and then let each reader add up the numbers as they choose.

Besides which, regardless of climate change issues, not everybody has equal buying opportunities, and so they need their buying advice to be unadulterated with other people’s biases and preferences. Some people can only shop online; others cannot shop online at all - a fact reflected in Choice’s availability both online and in printed form. Some have access to lots of retailers; others have a choice of just one - and have to choose between the TVs offered at that single outlet. And Choice has to accommodate everybody - including all the people not in the same boat!.

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Oh, and by the way, if I am wrong, and, driven by a surfit of energy-hungry TVs, climate change overwhelms and kills us all, I promise that my ghost will apologise to your ghost!


Considering this is the core question in the original post and more recent discussion, I’ve updated the topic heading to more closely align.

It’s a very specific discussion. I don’t see anyone suggesting that the many other aspects covered in the reviews are unreliable or without fact.

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Obviously we are all in the “boat” of having to deal with the consequences of climate change and so are our successors out to several generations. There are few here who don’t accept that. You would have got more of us demonstrably on side and quicker if you had made that plain from the start and not gone for the attention grabbing headline about trust which is actually a distraction from what you care about or want to talk about. So your frustration is to a degree an own goal.

Whether we are all in the same boat about what should be done about climate change is addressed below.

I see no evidence that Choice makes recommendations exclusively for anybody or any particular group but embarks on the impossible task of trying to satisfy all.

If you think that it is not sufficient that the data on energy use is available and that it must be more prominent that is an entirely reasonable view. I think you need to accept there are other perspectives about this however.

One is that for some the functionality and value for money of electrical appliances are primary and they are quite happy to use the existing constructed statistic of the recommendation score and price as a first level filter and then look more at the details of the short list for other qualities such as energy score.

Two is that the energy score used is dependent on the efficiency of the model and its size. All other things being equal the bigger the screen the more juice it draws. Some people want a big screen and they are prepared for some of their energy budget to go in that direction. It is their life and their choice. For all we know they generate all their own power and do not increase GHG emissions by having a giant TV.

Three you assume that choices about appliances is a very significant factor in dealing with climate change. There are many who accept it is a factor but that in preference their attention and efforts really ought to go into big ticket items like where our energy comes from and the choices in their life that have the potential to make largest change; such as the construction of their house, the car they drive, their energy sources and who they vote for. They may not see choosing between a TV that uses 300 and 400 kWh per year is in that category. If you want to make a difference with a limited amount of influence you need to prioritise your efforts: hunt where the ducks are.


I would think that the energy usage difference of like for like TVs would be minimal.
Same size screen, same screen technology, same resolution.
Why give this minimal difference a high rating in the overall score?
Now if you compare a TV with a small screen, only does up to HD and therefore requires far less processing power, to a big screen UHD 4k or 8k thing, then you are not comparing the same thing.
I shudder to think what the power requrements were for those big 68cm to 80cm CRT units that were in use last century.

Thank you, mark_m. Good call.

syncretic, I think you are addressing the wrong person. I did not start this thread, nor mention anything about trust. Nor did I make any comment about what people inside Choice’s organisation believe or disbelieve. Neither, for that matter, do I feel any particular frustration with what they (the people inside Choice) do or say; by and large, apart from the occasional human blip, I think they do a great job. They’ve been keeping my attention for over 60 years now, so they can’t be doing too badly!

This depends on how - and, most importantly, on why - one looks at it. Regardless of what anybody thinks either within or beyond Choice’s walls, Choice sinks or swims according to how well it gives people the tools to accomplish their personal goals. As it is, Choice offers tools to help people assess the quality of products, by providing objective information about the products, and about how they will perform under certain conditions. Douglaspaine seems to be suggesting that the presentation of this information should be biased towards uses preferred by one group of people (those who wish to minimise climate warming), to the disadvantage of uses favoured by other people (such as those who are either indifferent to or in favour of climate warming). While I personally count myself in the first group, I don’t think Choice should be editorialising about the morality of people’s personal choices, nor the uses to which people put their purchases. Such editorialising would amount to saying that people should have less choice, or none at all - not quite what its founding fathers envisaged, nor, I think, most of its present supporters expect.

In short: my vote is ‘no’ to Choice reviews placing more emphasis on energy efficiency. By all means mention it, but otherwise stay neutral.

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My mistake about the origin of the thread. I apologise.

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all good :slightly_smiling_face:

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When I asked myself the same question I realised that without paying the money I would not have known how much electricity a given model uses or which models performed well or poorly against other criteria.

I prefer to look at the details, rather than just the headlines, when comparing products. For most products, the weighting allocated by Choice do not match my individual requirements. I then do some rough calculations to make the overall ratings more relevant.

As an example, you suggested that a weighting of 30% may be appropriate for the energy usage of a TV. The below table shows, assuming the weighting for other criteria was proportionally reduced, how this might affect the overall ratings for the least efficient and the three most efficient models you have referred to.

Overall Rating
As published Adjusted to 30% weighting for energy
LG 65NANO86TNA 79% 79%
Samsung QA65Q80AAW 76% 73%
Kogan KALED65RT9210SVA 71% 73%
Bauhn (Aldi) ATV65UHDG 62% 67%

The table shows variances of up to 5%. As this comes from a large weighting adjustment, smaller adjustments would not have a big influence on the overall ratings.

The costs calculated by Choice assume that the TV is on for 10 hours and on standby for the remaining 14 hours of each day. It would be useful to know for each model how much of the total cost is attributed each of these two modes. This would be helpful to people with different usage patterns.

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They can mention it but when it comes to a quality television,the picture is the #1 decision in my eyes and what suits your home.For other different products sure but not televisions