It’s the glowing box in the corner that, in some households, is rarely off. How much electricity does a TV use, though? What about standby? We’ll look at both old and new TVs, what the energy labels mean, and estimate the running and standby costs.
When we do look at costs, bear in mind that this just for the television itself: any set-top boxes you have attached will draw additional power, which you’d need to factor in separately.
But first, let’s look at those labels.
TV energy labels
The energy labelling used on TVs was revised in 2020 and uses a simple A-G scale. A+++/A+ no longer exist under this new, simpler scheme. It also separates out energy consumption in both standard and high dynamic range (HDR) modes.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s on the label and what it means:
How much power does a new TV consume?
For new TVs, you’ll need to consult the energy label for more information. However, even TVs of the same rating can vary massively in energy costs.
Currys sells TVs with an energy rating between D and G, with most being G. The size of the TV will generally make the biggest difference to power consumption, so I looked at two TVs – one with a 32in screen and another that was 65in.
A Samsung 32in TV is rated at 33 kWh/1,000h, pushing to 55 kWh/1,000h when making use of HDR. In comparison, a 65in Samsung uses 124 kWh/1000r and 182 kWh/1000h in HDR. And, let’s be honest, if you’ve paid for HDR you’re going to use it.
Now let’s take a look at how much it would cost to run these televisions. My peak rate electricity cost is currently 37.67p per Kilowatt hour. That works out at a cost of between 2.07p per hour for the 32in TV and 6.86p an hour for the 65in beast.
In 2020, average TV viewing was 192 minutes every day (bear in mind this was during the Covid-19 pandemic, so this may be a higher than usual number). This would mean a weekly cost of between 46p and £1.54 and a yearly cost of between £24 and £80.
What this omits are any standby costs, and this is where the energy label gives you nothing. Nor do some retailers. However, 0.5W appears to be usual. This is a cost of around £1.65 a year.
How much power does an older TV consume?
If you have an older TV then you’ll need to consult any product information that you can find for it – the manuals often contain power consumption data. Where energy labels give the power as kWh/1000h, manufacturers will usually provide it as Watts. However, these are the same thing.
I have a Sony 42in TV with no HDR to speak of. But, and this should give away its age, it does support 3D! It uses 0.25W on standby. The Sony website doesn’t tell me power consumption but, elsewhere, I found it listed at a peak of 127W (so, 127 kWh/1000h), although that’s not officially confirmed. This would give this TV a running cost of 4.78p per hour in use (15.3p a day or £5.57 a year) and around 80p a year on standby.