How Much Electricity Does a TV Use?

Digital TVs use far less electricity than the old analog CRT sets. Find out how much energy your TV uses to save on your Illinois energy bills this summer.

Is Your TV Using Too Much Electricity?

The electricity for your TV may not be as much as you think. Find out how to track your TV energy usage to save on your Illinois energy bills.
Not sure if your TV uses too much electricity? Find out how to track your TV energy usage to save on your Illinois energy bills this summer.

If you need to buy a new TV, one of your worries may be energy use. Most electricity in homes is used for heating and cooling. But since 1980, home electronics energy use has doubled and costs most families nearly $500 a year. With electricity rates probably going back up this summer, you want to save money where you can. We’ll cover how much your TV may be impacting your Illinois electricity bill.

Different Kinds of TVs

Americans spend 3 hours a day watching TV on average. And the type and size of TV you have will determine how much energy it uses. So it’s important to know the different kinds of TVs.

CRTThese TVs aren’t very common in homes these days, but you might still have one kicking around. These TVs use vacuum tubes that emit electrons to display an image. They roughly consume 95 watts an hour, or 13.4 kWh a month. And so, at the average electricity rate in Illinois of 16.04 cents per kWh that’s $2.15 per month.

PlasmaThese TVs use small pockets of plasma, which respond to electric current and create an image. Plasma TVs use the most energy. Almost 3x as much as an LCD TV. They consume up to 500 watts an hour, or 71 kWh a month. That’s roughly $11.38 a month.

LCDThese TVs use liquid crystals along with a light source to display images. They have a higher picture quality, more variety in screen sizes, and consume less energy. Consequently, LCD quickly became the choice over plasma. They roughly consume 200 watts an hour, or 28 kWh a month. That’s about $4.49 a month.

LEDLED displays, or light emitting diodes, use a variety of small lights in different colors to create pixels on a display. LED TV’s offer higher color variety and brightness. They also use less power than an LCD TV. They consume only 50 watts an hour, or 7.05 kWh a month. That’s only $1.13 a month.

OLEDOrganic light emitting diodes are similar to LEDs, with one big difference. They use an organic compound that emits light in response to electricity. However, they roughly consume 100 watts an hour, or 14 kWh a month. That’s about $2.25 a month.

Calculating Your TV Electricity Use

So now you know about the different TVs and their general electricity use. But how can you figure out how much electricity your specific TV is using? There are two easy ways to find out.

One method is to check for an Energy Guide label. These labels are required to be placed on certain appliances by the Federal Trade Commission. While these will provide an estimate on average energy consumption, most folks throw it out after they bring the new TV home.

Another way is to search online. Simply go to your TV’s manufacturer website and look up the user manual for your TV model. You can find power consumption information in the specification section at the end of the manual. Unfortunately, though many manufacturers provide this information, some do not.

If you still can’t find power information, there’s a simple formula you can follow to get a rough estimate. Firstly, find the wattage of your TV. The place to look is the TV’s “nameplate” on the back of the set. Most TVs made after 2013 only show the wattage used when the TV has been turned “on”.

Next, multiply the hours you use the TV by the wattage to get the watt-hours. Thirdly, divide this by 1000 to find the number in kWh for your usage. Lastly, multiply that by your electricity rate. This will tell you how much it costs per day to use your TV.

Shop for the Best Electricity Rate and Save

Now you have all the tools you need to estimate how much electricity your TV uses! While selecting a more energy efficient TV can save you money, there are better ways save. Cut your electricity bill by shopping for a new provider and lowering your rate. Visit

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