Purchasing a New Television? Consider Its Energy Efficiency

Flat screen television on white backgroundBefore you purchase that HD 3D LED TV, don’t forget to consider the energy consumption of your new screen. According to ENERGY STAR, some new TVs use as much energy as a new standard refrigerator (about 500 KWh/annually). By taking the following factors into consideration, you can make sure you new TV is not power-hungry.

LED vs. LCD vs. Plasma vs. CRT vs. Rear Projection

While the energy efficiency of the individual TVs in each of these categories can vary greatly, here are some general rules of thumb.

  • Rear Projection – You may be surprised to find that older rear projection HDTV’s are more energy efficient than the more popular LCD and plasma options available today. However, they are also hard to find because they are heavier and bulkier (less convenient.)
  • CRT – Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs are the oldest model of televisions available. If your television’s screen has a curve to it, it is a CRT TV. These models are among the most inefficient and are not usually sold in stores.
  • Plasma – Plasma televisions are known for being energy efficient. And while some manufacturers have made advances in energy efficiency, they still use as much as two to three times more energy than comparable LCD TVs.
  • LCD – Probably the most popular type of television available today is the LCD TV. They are not quite as efficient as rear projection, but the difference is often insignificant, especially when considering an ENERGY STAR rated LCD.
  • LED – LED TV’s are the same as LCD, except that they use an LED backlight instead of a fluorescent bulb for increased efficiency.

Screen Size

In most cases, the larger the screen size, the more energy the television will consume. According to energy tests by CNET, a new 52-inch LCD uses about twice as much energy as a 32-inch LCD. If you are significantly upgrading the size of your television, expect it to use more power.

The resolution of the screen may also affect the television’s energy efficiency on certain types of sets. For example, in plasma TVs each pixel is an individual light source. As the resolution (and number of pixels) increases, so does the energy required to power these light sources. The resolution of LCD and LED TVs, on the other hand, does not significantly affect energy consumption.


In order to make your purchase of an energy efficient television easier, ENERGY STAR has developed the ENERGY STAR Label. On average, TVs with these labels are 40% more efficient and larger screens can be as much as 60% more efficient than standard sets. 

In addition, ENERGY STAR qualified televisions must use one kWh or less of energy when in standby mode. This is important because modern TV’s don’t turn off when you push the power button – they go into a standby or sleep mode.

Entertainment centers (TV, DVD player, cable boxes, surround sound and receivers) can cost the American household up to $200 annually. By purchasing an energy efficient television, you can save money and help the environment.

O’Connor’s Mister Sparky serves the electrical needs of Hastings, Minnesota and the surrounding areas. Contact us online for more help reducing your electrical energy costs.

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