How Many Watts Does a TV Use When Off?

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How Many Watts Does a TV Use When It’s Off?

Now that people are staying home during the pandemic, some devices and appliances are getting used a lot more than normal. The stats from streaming services confirm TVs are getting a lot of use as people hunker down at home instead of going out.

As you sit in front of the television, you may be wondering how much the endless hours of entertainment cost in terms of electric use. The thing about a TV is it could be drawing power even when it’s turned off.

Just about everyone is worried about electricity during the pandemic. If you’re wondering how many watts a TV uses when it’s off, and how to prevent the energy drain, keep reading.

Factors That Affect TV Electricity Consumption

There are so many different TV models in use today it’s virtually impossible to guesstimate average energy use that applies across the board. But research has given us insight into what impacts energy use the most and ballpark estimates for how much is used. 

Calculating how much energy is used when a TV is turned off starts by understanding how much electricity it uses when it’s running. Generally speaking, there are several factors that affect how energy-efficient a TV is when it’s on and when it’s off. 

Age of the TV

The older a television is the less energy efficient it’s going to be. For example, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that older CRT TVs consume 1.5 watts while in standby mode whereas new LCDs use less than one watt. TVs are more energy-efficient because in 2009 the California Energy Commission required all manufacturers to develop TVs that used 49% less power by 2013. Many TVs already met the requirements, but it was a push to make all new televisions more energy-efficient. 

Size and Type of Screen

The larger the screen is the more electricity it takes to power the display. The good news is, even though TVs have swelled in size over the years they’ve become much more energy-efficient. The type of screen also matters. LCD and LED screens to use about a third of the power needed for CRT and plasma screens.

ENERGY STAR Models

The ENERGY STAR logo tells you that an appliance or device has met the Department of Energy standards for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR TVs are going to use less electricity than comparable non-ENERGY STAR models. Estimates show that ENERGY STAR certified televisions use 25% less electricity.

All-in-all CNET Labs says that most modern HDTVs use about $30 in electricity a year. The least energy-efficient TV (usually old or super-sized models) use up to $230 in electricity.

Does Leaving a TV on Standby Use Much Electricity?

Some people believe TV electricity consumption is reduced by using the standby mode. This is a setting that allows the TV to receive power even when it’s turned off. Standy mode also allows the TV to read the signal from the remote so that it can be turned on. Most televisions are automatically in standby mode if they are plugged in. 

Basically, the TV is asleep, but it isn’t powered down. 

Standby mode can be an energy-saving feature in some circumstances. For instance, a TV that’s in standby mode can power itself down if there’s no activity for a certain period of time. That way the TV doesn’t run while no one is watching it. However, the standby mode isn’t power-free. 

A number of researchers have conducted tests to figure out how much energy is consumed by television in standby mode. The standby mode electricity estimates range from about 2.25% to 5% of the power consumed while the TV is on. Most TVs today consume less than 5 watts a year in standby, which is a very small amount equal to a few dollars. But that wasted electricity adds up over time. 

How to Stop Your TV From Using Energy When It’s Not Used

Leaving a modern TV in standby mode won’t significantly increase your electricity bill, but it’s still a waste of money. If you want to lower electricity use while the TV is off or on here’s what you should do.

At night completely power off the TV (and other entertainment center devices). A smart power strip is an easy way to eliminate vampire power being sucked out by the TV, DVR, DVD player and other devices. Not only can you reduce power use for numerous devices at once, cutting the power at the cord may be the only option for TVs with fixed standby mode.

Just keep in mind that if the TV is completely turned off it won’t be able to perform updates or record scheduled shows

Adjust the ECO settings and timer. Many newer TVs have what’s called ECO settings as well as a timer. These settings can affect standby mode and the amount of energy that’s used while the TV is on. Play around with the settings until you find the best combination of performance and efficiency.

Replace Old TVs

A new TV is an upfront expense, but in the long run, it could cost less than the TV you have now. Switching from a CRT to an ENERGY STAR television will save you hundreds in reduced electricity use. In 2011 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandated that all TV manufacturers adhere to the EnergyGuide protocols, which requires that standardized energy use information be displayed on TVs that are for sale. In addition to looking for the ENERGY STAR logo, check out the energy consumption label.
Whether you have a new ultra HD television, a smart TV, or a vintage CRT box Verde Energy can help you get more out of your electricity use. We offer competitive rates on green energy plans as well as expert advice on how to use less energy around the house. Use your zip code to find the best green electricity plan for your family.

Related Topics:

Truth about Standby Power
Using a Home Energy Audit to Improve Efficiency