The government’s eco point system was started last May as a means of promoting the sale of energy-saving home appliances by offering points for particular products that could be traded in for discounts on other products or services whose energy-saving bona fides aren’t always so apparent (high class beef?) but just goes to show that the main purpose of the system is stimulating the economy — local economies, chiefly — rather than promoting more efficient use of resources.
The system will change on April 1, mainly for televisions. The energy-saving standards that qualify for eco points will be made stricter starting April 1, which is traditionally when home electronics makers come out with their new lines of products. New TVs will have to use 33 percent less energy than last year’s standard for eco points, and as a result retailers are busy pushing their inventories of old TVs because after March 31 many of those models won’t be eligible for eco points any more.