How Much Electricity Does My TV Use?

By Josh Crank, April 12, 2018, Energy Efficiency

TV tech just keeps getting better. Ultra high-definition TVs have arrived, smart tech is fully integrated into many new models and televisions are slimmer and lighter each year. But even though today’s TVs do more than ever before, there’s one thing they’re not doing a lot of — drawing electricity.

Compared to other electronics and appliances in the typical home, TVs account for a small slice of the energy consumption pie. Most modern TVs consume fewer than 250 watts, which adds up to just a few dollars a month per TV for even the most dedicated couch potatoes.

How Much Electricity Does My TV Use? | Bounce Energy Blog

How Much Energy Does a TV Use?

If your TV (or the TV you’re thinking about buying) was sold in 2011 or later, there’s an easy way to get a close estimate of what it will cost you in energy consumption. Since then, the Federal Trade Commission has required TV manufacturers to participate in the EnergyGuide program, which creates standardized energy consumption labels for display at the point of purchase. In stores and online, look for the yellow and black EnergyGuide label to get an idea of how much a TV will cost to operate.

For televisions, EnergyGuide bases its estimates on an electrical utility rate of 11 cents per kWh and five hours of use per day. But if you know the wattage of a specific television, you can calculate a more accurate estimate based on your own electrical rate and TV watching habits.

You can verify the wattage of a TV you already own by looking for the wattage label on the back of the TV. The wattage is the number with a “W” at the end. Simply multiply the wattage by the estimated average number of hours you watch TV per day to determine your watt-hours per day. Divide that number by 1,000 to find your kilowatt hours per day, then multiply that figure by your energy provider’s kWh rate to see how much it will cost you to use the TV per day.

For example, say you watch a 200 watt television for three hours per day and pay an electrical rate of 10 cents per kWh:

200W x 3 hours = 600 watt-hours

600 watt-hours / 1000 = .6 kWh

.6 kWh x $.10 = $.06

This television would cost you only six cents per day to operate. Multiply that by 365 to find that it costs only $21.90 per year to power your TV.

Consumers who run their TVs frequently may worry about energy costs, especially if they tend to leave their sets running for their pets or as background noise while doing other things. But how much does it cost to leave the TV on all day? Using our example of a 200 watt TV and EnergyGuide’s standard of 11 cents per kWh, you could run the TV for 12 hours per day and it would still cost you only $96.36 per year.

How Much Electricity Does My TV Use? | Bounce Energy Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your TV

Even though the energy costs of modern TVs are negligible, it doesn’t hurt to conserve energy when and where you can. With that in mind, here are a few key tips to minimizing your TV energy use:

  • It’s a no-brainer, but turn off all TVs when nobody is watching. It’s the single most effective way to reduce energy use.
  • When shopping for a new TV, check the federal ENERGY STAR website to see if the models you’re considering meet their energy conservation standards. 
  • Avoid plasma TVs, as these use more energy than other modern flat-screen models. Instead, look for TVs that use OLEDs, the latest in energy efficient TV technology.
  • Be mindful of your TV’s settings, especially brightness, which affect energy efficiency. You can set the TV brightness lower if you dim the lights in the room.
  • Though it will only spare you a tiny amount of energy, disabling “standby mode” on modern TVs can ensure that your TV draws no power when it’s turned off. It may take longer each time you turn on your TV, however.

Fortunately, since today’s TVs are relatively energy efficient by themselves, there’s only a few dollars worth of difference to be saved by stressing over these details. When it comes to the energy hogs in your home, there are definitely bigger fish to fry.

Check out how much your other electronics use in our How Much Energy series or read more energy efficiency tips for your home.

Save even more money with an electricity plan from Bounce Energy! We have a variety of plans so that you can choose the one that fits your home and lifestyle.


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