Large plasma TVs could be banned if a new EU standard is passed this spring.

According to the EU, the screens, which are thought to consume four times as much energy and produce four times as many carbon emissions than other panels, are not helping reduce our carbon footprint. A 42in plasma TV consumes 822kWh of electricity per year, compared to the 350kWh used by a 42in LCD, and CRT television sets, which use 322kWh.

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"Minimum energy performance standards for televisions are expected to be agreed across Europe this spring, and this should lead to phasing out the most inefficient TV," said the EU.

Under the energy performance standards, a labelling system detailing the energy used by each device will also be implemented.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said: "In the past five years we have seen the main television in a household change from typically being a 24in to 32in CRT television to being a much larger flatscreen television, with screen sizes of between 32 and 42in becoming more and more common. Not surprisingly, this has seen the energy used by the main television in the house increase".

See also: Panasonic demos 9mm thick 50in plasma