If you’re a fan of leaving a TV on for background noise (or trying to convince someone not to), you might be curious about how much an always-on TV contributes to your electric bill.
While we’d love to tell you exactly how much energy your particular television uses, as much as we strive to offer extremely precise insights for our readers that would require a house call and a manual measurement (more on how you can be your own energy consultant in a moment).
How much power a TV uses in both standby mode and while you’re watching it can vary wildly by the manufacturer, screen size, whether or not the TV is a smart TV, and by age.
Even the same size television, from the same manufacturer, with the same general smart TV features, can vary in power consumption depending on which year the model was released. Because of evolving https://www.howtogeek.com/819309/how-much-energy-does-energy-saving-mode-on-tvs-really-save/ rating criteria and a global initiative to reduce standby power, The One Watt Initiative, an older TV will likely use a lot more power than a newer model.
But we’ve measured the power consumption of quite a few TVs, and we’re confident in offering a rough rule of thumb you can go by if you’d like to guesstimate how much energy your television is using.
For TVs with screens up to about 49 inches, you can multiply the screen size by 1 to estimate the number of watts the TV uses when powered on. With that in mind, estimating that a 32-inch TV uses about 32W of power would be reasonable.
For TVs with screens 50 inches and above, we recommend multiplying by 1.5. So it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume a 60-inch TV used around 90W of power.
Estimating how much power a TV uses is one thing, but how does that translate into your electric bill?
Let’s assume that your electricity costs 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and that your TV is in the middle of those two estimates we just threw out at 60W of energy use per hour.
If we run the calculation for your cost-per-hour, it works out to 7.2 cents per hour. Leaving the TV on for 6 hours after work every night would cost you $1.30 a month.
If you liked to leave the TV on all day, let’s say you work from home and like the background noise, leaving the TV on for 12 hours a day would cost you $2.60 a month.
If you want an exact answer, you’ll need to measure your exact TV under the conditions you use it. While our rule-of-thumb guesstimation above is good enough to ballpark things, you’ll be surprised when you actually start measuring different TVs in your home.
And, better yet, the cool thing about conducting the measurements yourself is that you can play with the variables.
You might find, for example, that the energy-saving mode on your TV knocks 20W off the power consumption but makes the picture look like washed-out garbage.
Knowing that it would only save you a few bucks over the whole year would certainly make you feel better about not using the energy-saver mode and enjoying your TV.