On the box
Your TV may be the largest energy use appliance in your household. Element takes a quick look at the best options.
It would be hard not to notice that the average television has got bigger and bigger in the last few years, and many of us are buying screens for more than one room in our homes. As technology has improved, television screens are also increasingly becoming a central point for a range of home entertainment, including games consoles, internet browsing and music control. This means they are also likely to be on for longer.
The televisions themselves are getting more efficient: advances in technology mean that, size for size, the most efficient plasma TVs (once famous for being power hungry) now use up to two-thirds less power than older models. But the big screens of today can still use a lot of power: TVs now rank as the fourth biggest energy consuming appliance in the average household, and in some houses it can be the single most energy-hungry appliance of all.
Choosing a more efficient model gives you the same viewing pleasure, and the money saved on power bills means you have extra cash to spend on something else.
Our energy saving TV tips
Check out the energy rating label to get an idea of how much it will cost to run – there’s more variation in the running costs of televisions than you may think. Looking for an energy efficiency shortcut? Choose an ENERGY STAR-qualified television, they’re guaranteed to be among the most energy efficient, so will save you money on running costs. If buying second-hand, you can probably still find information for
the television’s energy use online. As a general guide, the larger the screen, the more electricity the TV uses, so factor in the ongoing running costs as well as the upfront purchase cost rather than just going for the largest screen you can afford. Choose a screen that’s right for your uses and the space you have
available. LCD-LED televisions tend to be the most efficient flat screen technology on the market, so are well worth choosing over most plasma alternatives. Brighter screens tend to use more energy: check that your
television is set to the recommended viewing mode. Turn off the television at the wall overnight: standby sucks power for nothing. Go one further, and use a multi-plug for all your home entertainment appliances so they can be switched off at the wall together.