TV Electricity Cost Calculator
Use the following calculator to estimate the annual electricity cost of a television as defined by size, viewing habits, electricity cost, and TV technology.
Energy consumption is a much smaller factor in buying appliances today, and TVs especially reflect this. Modern technologies such as LED and OLED have brought power usages down a fair margin, and long gone are the days of inefficient CRTs and Plasma sets that could run up electricity costs by a good amount.
TVs have grown to be larger with time. 65 inches is not uncommon, even in an average household. While great strides in efficiency have allowed us to have TVs that consume significantly less energy than before, bigger sizes inevitably have bigger requirements. New technologies like HDR do not help either, as making TVs brighter also requires more energy. Most of the time though, this just amounts to TVs consuming about the same as they used to a couple of years ago. They are better TVs overall though, and they do get much brighter.
Larger TVs also leads to more heat, as any circuit will. This isn’t too big of a deal, but it theoretically could cause issues in hotter countries, if the TV isn’t placed in a temperature-regulated environment.
The Relationship Between Electricity Cost & Size
As you can see in this chart plotting TVs from 2016 and 2017, there is a definite link between size and power consumption. Some features, such as full-array local dimming, are more costly, both to build and use. They require more LEDs than standard direct-lit and edge-lit type LCD TVs. OLEDs have been consistently more power-hungry than the average LED models. However, in both cases, it is not a big amount, especially compared to older Plasma TVs that often consumed twice as much as even the hungriest LEDs and OLEDs.
Something to keep in mind is that almost all the electricity your TV uses ends up becoming heat. In winter, this isn’t a big issue. The heat generated by the TV just ends up (slightly) lowering the amount of heating that your heater has to do.
In summer, though, or in areas that are warm year-round, the extra heat can be a problem. In essence, it works against any cooling you’re doing, so you’ll be spending a bit more on air conditioning, or else suffering through more heat in order to watch TV.
If this extra heat is a big problem for you, you may want to make energy consumption one of the things you look at before diving in and buying a TV.
Brightness and Energy Consumption
Not only does consumption scale with size, it also almost perfectly scales with brightness. As you can see above, raising your brightness from minimum progressively leads to higher consumption and inevitably higher costs. Reducing the brightness to the 50% setting instead of max on the LG C7 doesn't exactly halve the energy use, but that's mostly because other electronics of the TV also consume some energy. It does get close though, from 195W of consumption at max brightness to 123W at 50%, it's safe to assume the other 20 some odd watts are used by the rest of the components.
Even if the difference is relatively marginal cost-wise, it is quite obvious that the Samsung MU8000, even if it's about as bright as the LG C7, consumes significantly less power. At 300 nits, the difference between the two TVs is about 50%, meaning the LED TV can output the same amount of light with half the power requirements.
Tips for Reducing Power Consumption
- Lower the backlight setting. The backlight is by far the biggest drain on your power, and the lower you can get your backlight, the less power your TV will consume. Placing your TV in a dark or dimly lit environment will help you avoid needing a bright backlight.
- Turn the TV off. It may sound basic, but some people leave their TVs running all the time. Leaving a TV on constantly will result in much higher costs than if you turn the TV off.
- A lot of TVs have a “Quick Start” feature. This usually means that they stay in a standby mode when you press the power button instead of shutting off completely. Turning these features off can help, but some models also allow for you to hold the power button on the remote to shut down completely.
- Most TVs today feature a light sensor that can adjust the TV's brightness to the room. Instead of having the TV constantly run at a static brightness, this feature can help reduce consumption by lowering the brightness when it isn't needed.
- If you often fall asleep in front of the TV at night, make use of its sleep timer feature. This greatly reduces consumption, since hours of playtime that would be used while you're sleeping will instead be kept in your pocket.
The bigger or brighter your TV, the more power it will take to run. While even modern large, bright TVs don't consume that much power, the easiest ways to reduce the amount of energy your TV consumes is to go smaller, go dimmer, and turn your TV off when it is not in use.