Answer: When it carries the same kind of yellow-and-black rectangular labels now required on consumer appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. The Energy Guide labels provide information such as the estimated yearly cost of operating the appliance and the cost range compared to other similar models.

In March 2009, the FTC issued a notice seeking comments on whether EnergyGuide labels should be mandatory on a range of consumer electronic products, including televisions. The agency is now looking for further comment on test procedures and other issues. The FTC is seeking public comments on their proposal through May 14.

Specific issues in which it is soliciting opinions include the need for these labels; how the energy usage of televisions should be determined; the location, format, and content of energy disclosures; and the timing of the proposed labeling requirements.

The proposal was published in the Federal Register on March 11. You can get more information from the FTC press release:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/03/tvlabel.shtm