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Televisions account for approximately 4% of the average household’s electricity use. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you took all of the electricity use from televisions alone in the United States, it would be enough energy to power homes in the state of New York for an entire year.

Thankfully, television has come along way since its introduction to major markets more than 50 years ago. It is truly remarkable that with all of the advancements in such a short period of time, today’s televisions are actually using less energy while providing greater functionality.

Most appliances actually use energy when they are turned off. Televisions are no different, consuming 12 watts in “standby mode.” ENERGY STAR televisions consume no more than 3 watts of power when turned of, saving up to 75% in energy consumption when powered off. They save up to an additional 30% less energy when turned on.

TVs are available in a number of different shapes and sizes. Tube (CRT) televisions are quickly becoming a thing of the past in favor of widescreen flat panel televisions, available in both LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma screen models. Fortunately, all of these models can qualify for the ENERGY STAR label.

With new televisions standards and regulations coming into affect, many homeowners may be looking to replace their existing televisions. Here are a few things to consider from an environmental and energy savings perspective.

  • It is estimated that if half of all United States households replaced their current televisions with an ENERGY STAR model, it would be possible to shut down an entire power plant.
  • If every television sold this year was an ENERGY STAR compliant television, it would save approximately 9 billions lbs. of pollution from entering our atmosphere.
  • LCD televisions are more energy efficient than other models. They require less electricity because they do not rely on fluorescent lighting and produce less heat because of their shape. In the long run, you might pay more for an LCD television up front, but it could save you money in the long run.

It should also be noted that combination units (TV/DVD or TV/VCR), ENERGY STAR qualified or not, will consume less electricity and are a better alternative to purchasing two units separately. ENERGY STAR qualfiied combination units use up to 35% less energy than standard units.

 Television Tips
Unplug unused electronic equipment
When you are not using you stereo, television, home theatre or gaming system, unplug them. These devices "leak energy." Not only with this save energy, but it will also protect these components from power surges. As an alternative, purchase a power bar and plug multiple devices into it. Turn the button "off" to shut down power to all units.
Look for the ENERGY STAR Label
When buying new, look for ENERGY STAR products to ensure optimal energy savings.