When it comes to televisions, bigger is better. But do bigger TVs consume more electricity? Today’s television screens are larger than ever before. We’re watching Game of Thrones on a flat screen in the living room that rivals the local cinema. But how much electricity does it take to power these jumbo TVs?
According to Sustainability Victoria, 10% of the average Victorian household’s energy bill comes from televisions, home entertainment, computers and IT equipment. And TVs are easily one of the biggest contributors – especially because most people don’t have just one modest set in their living room, but one for each bedroom, kitchen, study and even bathroom.
How to choose your TV
If you’re looking for a new TV and are worried how much juice it will use, there are a few things you should know. First, while size does impact how much energy your television consumes, it’s not the only factor.
Consider these questions:
Which type of TV?
LED TVs and LCD TVs tend to be more energy efficient than their plasma counterparts. In fact, plasma screens can use two to three times more electricity than LED displays of a similar size and resolution. LED displays are proven to be the most efficient, thanks to the use of light emitting diodes for backlighting.
What’s the resolution?
Today, we are always looking for a clearer, crisper TV watching experience. Yet the amount of electricity used increases with the resolution. The latest 1080p plasma TV, for example, will consume more energy than a 720p plasma TV.
Light output is the single biggest factor in how much power your TV uses. The brighter the TV screen, the more electricity is consumed. The latest technology now includes dimming capabilities allowing you to adjust the backlighting or and brightness levels depending on your surroundings. Reducing brightness will significantly lower the TV’s energy consumption.
What’s the standby mode?
Televisions still use power while in standby. It might not be much but the amount differs depending on the type of TV. Some televisions now have an eco mode, which you can opt for instead.
How to be energy savvy with your TV
The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice the performance and size of the television to save electricity. The energy efficiency of TVs is improving all the time. Today, it’s standard for a TV to feature at least some basic energy saving features. And the better models will be fitted with sensors that automatically turn off the picture and eventually the TV when they detect nobody is watching. Compare star ratings when choosing your television and opt for a higher rating for bigger televisions.
There are also some simple ways you can save electricity. The easiest is to turn off the TV when nobody is in the room, or when you notice that everyone is playing on their tablet/laptop/smartphone. Also, position your television so it’s not in direct sunlight. This means you won’t need to turn the brightness to the maximum to see the picture clearly.
Better yet, watch the television with the lights off. Some sets now have an ambient light sensor feature which adjusts the backlight according to bright the room is. Watching your favourite show in the dark can cut energy use by 30-50%. Plus you get that real cinema ambience!
Finally, if you’re buying a new television, be sure to dispose of your old one responsibly. Recycle it at your local drop-off point or get advice what to do if you don’t have a drop-off point near you.