Knowing the energy usage of your most-used devices and appliances is essential. Within the U.S., the residential sector accounts for 21% of total energy consumption. The more power you use, the more you can expect to pay.
In the face of the rising cost of living, taking positive steps now can alleviate some of the pain this coming winter.
So, how much energy does a TV use? Being aware of the power consumption of a TV can make a massive difference to your energy bills. Here’s what you need to know.
Do TVs Use a Lot of Electricity?
Modern TVs have come a long way in reducing power consumption. If you’re wondering, “How much power does a TV use?” there are a number of factors to consider.
The average TV watts are 58.6 watts when switched on and just 1.3 watts in standby mode. Understandably, there’s a big difference between what TVs consume per year.
But do TVs use a lot of electricity in comparison to other devices and appliances? Here’s a rundown of how much it costs to run other items in your household per year:
- TV - $75
- Air Conditioner - $540
- Water Heater - $225
- Lighting - $130
- Refrigerator - $110
- Washer/Dryer - $95
- Dishwasher - $20
Judging by the average TV wattage compared to other household appliances, running your TV falls somewhere in the middle. They’re not massive electricity hogs but also not as cheap to run as your dishwasher. Reducing your TV’s energy usage can still make a difference when it comes to electricity costs.
Purchasing a more energy-efficient TV can reduce your TV wattage and ensure you pay less for your primary entertainment source.
While running your TV for a whole year may not sound particularly expensive, reducing your consumption can make a difference over time. In 10 years, you could save $750 on your energy bills. Apply energy-saving measures to other appliances, and you could save even more.
Factors That Affect TV Wattage
How many watts does a TV use? It depends on the TV you use. Most standard figures are averages accounting for the most popular televisions in the country.
If you’re Googling “how many watts is a TV,” or “how much watts does a TV use when it’s switched off?” you’ll see that several factors go into determining its wattage.
Understanding these components can help you make more energy-efficient decisions at home.
Type of TV
Modern TVs have been designed with energy efficiency in mind. Older TVs will consume the most, whereas modern LCD and LED TVs are the most efficient.
The newer the device, the better the efficiency. Look for the Energy Star rating to determine which TVs will save you the most money. Approximately 94% of Energy Star-certified TVs are LED. Most of them are also direct-lit, with a minority being edge-lit. On average, Energy Star-certified TVs are 25% more efficient than conventional TVs.
You can easily visit the Energy Star website to compare a list of their products. But how much wattage does a TV use if it’s energy-efficient?
Today’s most efficient TV is the Sceptre – E18. It has transformed television because it consumes just 10 watts when switched on and 0.5 watts on standby, making it at least 80% more efficient than the standard LED TV.
Size of TV
Larger appliances will typically consume more energy than smaller ones. The same goes for your television. Giant 60” screens need more power to run than 20” screens.
While manufacturers have taken steps to make their larger TVs more efficient, there’s no getting around the fact a smaller TV will consume less power.
For example, let’s compare two sizes of the LG C2 OLED TV:
- 48-Inch TV – 80 watts
- 65-Inch TV – 115 watts
Even the largest TV offered will still consume less power than an older television set. However, it would be best to consider whether the extra energy consumption is worth the extra inches.
Here’s another comparison using Samsung’s range of 4K smart TVs:
- Samsung Crystal 55-Inch – 75 watts
- Samsung Neo 86-Inch – 120 watts
You’ll notice that Samsung’s range of products consumes less energy even though they’re larger. It underlines the importance of choosing your brand carefully if you’re interested in cutting your home power consumption.
How many hours per day do you watch TV?
In 2022, average daily TV usage has declined to record lows, with U.S. adults watching the big screen for just three hours per day. Reducing your TV usage is one of the best ways to cut how much power you use.
Furthermore, get into the habit of turning your TV off when you’re not using it. Many people will have their TV running in the background while doing something else, which costs them more in the long run.
However, switching to streaming on another device, such as through your laptop, can cancel out any energy reductions in turning your TV off. Consider your activities and lifestyle. How are they contributing to your total energy consumption?
Monitoring your TV usage must fit into the context of every energy-consuming activity at home.
Vampire power is a term for how much power a device consumes when turned off but plugged in. Households waste vast amounts of energy on vampire power every year. This is the energy you’re paying for but gaining no benefit from.
TVs can be huge power-sucking devise, with television continuing to consume 5% of its usual energy consumption when in standby mode. But why are TVs consuming so much energy when switched off but still plugged in?
Modern smart TVs have so many features that consume more significant amounts of energy. Satellite television, Wi-Fi connectivity, DVR options, and more will still use energy when the main set is turned off.
Tips for Reducing Power Consumption of a TV
Your TV may not represent much of your home’s energy bill, but every little helps cut costs.
Taking the right steps now can also reduce your carbon footprint and make your home eco-friendly.
Buy a More Energy-Efficient TV
The TV you choose defines how much energy it will consume. Modern TVs are always more energy efficient than their older counterparts, but even between today's brands, you’ll find considerable differences in their wattages.
Here are some tips for choosing a TV that will save you money on your power bills.
Which Size TV Do You Need?
As previously noted, the bigger the screen, the more energy your TV will consume. The receiver and speakers form just a tiny part of a TV’s total energy consumption, so there’s no need to worry about these parts of your new TV.
Think about the size you actually need and purchase that one. Too many people buy the largest TV they can fit inside their living room, but all they accomplish is using more power.
Consider Picture Quality
Opting for the best 4K picture quality seems obvious, but ask whether you view 4K content regularly.
Most modern streaming services send 1080p quality video. There’s no reason to upgrade to a 4K TV if you don’t consider it a must-have.
Every pixel broadcast on the screen consumes a small amount of energy. The average 4K screen contains 8.29 million pixels, which is why the image is so detailed. Yet it’s four times more than a 1080p screen, meaning your TV needs four times the energy.
Look for TVs with Energy-Saving Modes
TV manufacturers understand that more people are concerned about their carbon footprint. Some televisions have special modes that allow them to run efficiently.
An example of an energy-saving mode is an automatic shut-off when nobody is watching the TV. Screen dimmers can also cut how much energy the TV uses.
TVs that focus on energy efficiency will come with several features like these, so make sure you do your research before settling on a specific brand.
Inspect EnergyGuide Labels
You might have noticed new TVs all have prominent labels stuck on them. These are EnergyGuide labels and offer a standardized way to compare different energy metrics, such as the total cost of running your TV (from high to low) and estimated annual energy expenditure.
If you’re shopping for a new TV, inspect these labels for an easy way to find out how much power a TV will use on average.
Shop with Energy Star
Energy Star is the government’s leading authority on appliances and devices that consume less energy and are, therefore, better for the environment.
As already mentioned, an Energy Star TV will consume 25% less energy on average than a non-Energy Star set. Note that Energy Star TVs don’t force you to compromise on features and image quality.
Choose a Smart TV
Smart TVs are designed for intelligent homes. Connecting to a smart electronic device is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption.
Smart TVs can also be connected to smart speakers to easily control the TV remotely or set it on a schedule for DVR purposes.
Be aware that just because a TV is labeled as “smart” doesn’t mean it’s the best choice on the market. Use it as a starting point for further investigation into different TVs.
Lower the Backlight Setting
Backlighting is by far the biggest drain on your energy. Lowering the backlight on your TV will significantly impact your energy consumption.
Your backlighting level will also depend on where you position your TV. If it’s facing a window where the sun shines in, you’ll naturally need a higher backlight level. However, closing the curtains or changing the position of the TV can eliminate the need for brighter backlights.
Turn the TV Off
It may seem like an obvious piece of advice but turning your TV off makes a huge difference to your energy consumption. Most people don’t actually switch their TVs off when they press the button on the remote control. Instead, they’re leaving it on standby.
If you’re leaving the house, turn the TV off at the wall to stop it from sapping unnecessary power.
Another critical point is to avoid leaving your TV on in the background. It’s not uncommon for people to be using their laptops with the TV running in the background simultaneously. Get out of this habit to avoid excessive energy consumption.
Beware of “Quick Start” Features
Quick Start was created so you don’t have to wait those annoying few seconds for your TV to switch itself on and tune into your favorite channel.
However, Quick Start means your TV remains in sleep mode when not in use. While this mode may consume a fraction of energy, it can soon add up. Turning off the Quick Start feature ensures your TV is fully shut down when you’re not watching it.
Buy a TV with a Light Sensor
TV light sensors automatically adjust the brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. Running your TV at static brightness is an easy way to consume more power than necessary.
Your light sensor will detect the conditions around it and adjust your TV’s brightness without your input. Early light sensor models were pretty poor at gauging the appropriate brightness, but today’s smart TVs are highly adept at adjusting the lighting without interrupting the viewing experience.
Switch on the Sleep Timer
Many people fall asleep in front of their TVs at night. Running your TV for those extra hours every evening is an easy way to increase your energy bills.
Make use of your TV’s sleep timer so that it automatically switches itself off if you fall asleep on the sofa.
Reduce Your Energy Usage with Nexamp
Your TV is one of many electronic devices that weigh on your home’s energy costs. Relative to other appliances, TVs use less energy, but changing your habits and practicing eco-friendly viewing habits at home can still make a difference.
If you’re worried about your energy bills, the answer is in renewables. At Nexamp, we support households transitioning from fossil fuels by democratizing the benefits of solar energy. You can install solar panels at home or join a community solar farm with no money down and save up to 20% on energy bills.
To learn more about community solar with Nexamp, visit nexamp.com/community-solar or call 888-966-4607.