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How Will My TV Purchase Impact My Electricity Bill?

Posted on: July 29, 2019

It’s fairly simple to understand how a large, high-draw appliance like a new air conditioner or hot tub may impact your energy bills. But can your television cause an increase in electricity use? It can. And if you’re about to go grab that nice new 48” you’ve been eyeballing, we’ve got some important information to share with you.

How Much Energy Does a Common Television Use?

While “common” is getting harder and harder to describe when it comes to modern televisions, there is still a fairly well-established energy consumption range. TVs can eat up anywhere from as little as 80 watts to as much as 500 watts. In more useful terms, this can be the difference between paying $15 a year or $100. Not super noteworthy when compared to a high-efficiency HVAC system, or the lights in your home, but definitely of note if you’re about to purchase a new television.

What Factors Impact TV Energy Use?

You may think that the largest factor would be the size. But while size is important to be sure, it’s actually what technology the TV uses that is most important. The three most common television display technologies are:

  • LCD screens. Liquid crystal display is the most commonly used screen type, and it’s still fairly energy-efficient—LCDs are only slightly behind LEDs in terms of energy efficiency.
  • LED screens. As with light bulbs, LED screens are currently the most efficient option out there and consequently cost the least to run overall. These screens are actually a modified type of LCD, using an LED backlight instead of more traditional (and energy-hungry) lighting options.
  • Plasma televisions. Less-efficient technology, coupled with the fact that plasma televisions can only be fabricated in some of the largest sizes, makes plasma the least energy-efficient.

How Much Energy Does My Television Use?

A good question, and one that is thankfully easy to answer! Since Energy Guide labels became mandatory nearly a decade ago (a move required by the FTC) you should have very clear information defining the energy your system will use, as well as an estimation of the annual cost to run the television. This is all provided on a black and yellow label that should reside on the back, bottom, or side of the TV in question.

Do be aware, however, that the label assumes completely default settings and minimal to moderate usage. The actual cost to run the TV can be a bit higher than what is displayed, though still not by a whole lot.

How Much Will a New Television Impact My Energy Bill?

On a month-to-month basis, not much! If you’re planning to make a major upgrade, or you’re looking to go plasma for the better picture quality and color accuracy, you may notice a small increase in your overall yearly bill.

If you’re energy conscious and looking to reduce your energy use, we would recommend sticking to LCD or LED/LCD televisions when shopping. If you’re in doubt, or if you don’t want to make too large of a jump in energy use, look for the yellow and black Energy Guide label and compare it to your current television!

Energy-Efficient Electrical Services from Kolb Electric

Our skilled, licensed, and insured electrical contractors provide comprehensive home electrical services in MD, VA, and DC. If you’re looking to install energy-efficient lighting, or if the time has come to rewire or update your home’s electrical, count on our team for the dependable solutions you need.

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