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How Much Electricity Does A TV Use?

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How many watts does a tv use? For nearly a century, televisions have been used to display sporting events, news broadcasts, and other binge-worthy programs. And with more content being created every day, many households have multiple television sets within their homes as the likes of bedrooms, kitchens, and mancaves each demand their use. TVs today come in various types and sizes, offering consumers a number of choices when it comes to picture quality and scale. For many, the chatter of the television is a normal sound within the home as it’s left powered on even when no one is paying it too much attention. Understandably, their constant usage contributes to the electricity consumption that occurs in our homes, but something you may have wondered from time to time is just how much electricity does a tv use?

Types of TVs

Televisions used bulky cathode ray tube sets (CRTs) for decades. Then, in the late 1990s, the flat-screen plasma television was introduced to the public. Gradually, CRTs were replaced with flat-screen TVs. 

As a technology perpetually on the edge of innovation, televisions continue evolving. Today, consumers have many different types of televisions from which to choose. Sleeker, slimmer, and more energy-efficient sets can display top-of-the-line pictures.

Let’s look at some of the most common televisions.


As mentioned, LCD panels began to work their way into homes in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The big point of differentiation for these sets over others was that they were slimmer, enabling homeowners to mount them on a wall. 

LCD televisions work through the use of pixels, which are tiny lights that come in red, blue, and green that are manipulated quickly to create moving color pictures. Within an LCD television, the pixels are controlled electronically through liquid crystals, giving it its name of liquid crystal display. LCDs also consume a smaller amount of energy than older CRTs could, making them more energy efficient.


Just like there are LED light bulbs, there are also LED televisions available for purchase by consumers. Though they utilize an LCD screen, the source of light in the actual television sets of these electronics is an LED. These bulbs are some of the most energy-efficient and compact available on the market. This fact enables LED televisions to be made even thinner than others as well. When comparing LED TVs to LCDs, the only difference between the two is the backlight. As a result, the only point of differentiation is the energy used. There is no difference in picture quality.


An OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) television is a type of display technology used in flat-panel TVs. Unlike traditional LED/LCD (Light-Emitting Diode/Liquid Crystal Display) TVs, which use a backlight to illuminate pixels, OLED TVs use organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied. This means that each individual pixel in an OLED display is capable of emitting its own light, allowing for more precise control over brightness and color.

OLED TVs can be energy-efficient because they only emit light where needed. When displaying dark scenes or images, individual pixels can be turned off, saving power.

Smart TV

One of the latest developments in television is the creation of the smart TV. A smart TV is essentially the same as its counterparts; however, it differs in its need to connect to the internet. Connecting to your home’s network, the smart TV can tap into applications like Netflix and Amazon Prime to stream content. Standard televisions can be used in this function, but they require an external device like a streaming stick or set-up box to access the internet and functionality like a smart TV. One strategy to drive down costs and reduce how much energy your television uses is to connect an external device with an energy-efficient television.  

Power Usage By TV Type

So, how many watts does a TV use? Explore this handy chart to compare electricity usage by television type. Keep in mind, these are rough estimates and can vary based on brightness setting, size, model, and brand.

Type of Television Power Usage
CRT 60-150 W Per Hour
Plasma 100-300 W Per Hour
LCD 50-150 W Per Hour
LED 30-100 W Per Hour
OLED 50-200 W Per Hour

Now let’s take the average wattage and common screen sizes to see how many watts are used when the TV is powered on. 

Size Watts Used While One
19-inch TV 16.5W
32-inch TV 28W
50-inch TV 70.5W
65-inch TV 94.7W
75-inch TV 114.5W

If you are looking for a more precise number, you can easily calculate the cost. First you will need to identify your TV’s energy usage in watts or kilowatts and then use your monthly usage and your rate for a quick calculation.

Let’s imagine you own a 75-inch TV and leave it on for 28 hours each week (the average watched per adult according to Nielson). From the above chart we are using the average wattage of 114.5W per hour. Additionally, consider that your rate is 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, the average rate in Texas. To calculate the expense, you would need to convert the watts to kilowatt-hours and then multiply that by the rate.

In order to convert watts to kilowatts, divide the wattage by 1,000:

114.5 watts/1000 watts =  0.1145 kilowatt

From there you will multiply the kilowatts by the 28 hours the television was used:

0.1145 kilowatts x 28 hours = 3.21 kilowatt-hours

Finally, you will multiply the kilowatt-hours total by the 14-cent rate you pay monthly:

2.29 kilowatt-hours x 14 cents = 45 cents per week or $23 per year

Now, simply imagine that number of hours of usage being increased, along with the size of the television and the number of televisions in the house. Suddenly, it’s easy to understand how a television can contribute to the monthly usage of energy in your home. It is important to note that your TV can cost you even when it’s not on. As a result, finding ways to reduce overall consumption or opting for the most energy-efficient types of televisions on the market will prove valuable.

TV Electricity Use and Vampire Energy

Like so many other electronics, televisions are susceptible to vampire energy. This refers to the drainage of energy from devices that have been turned off but left plugged in. During this time, they are still using energy, and for devices that remain on standby for a quick power-up, just like televisions, a considerable amount of energy is still consumed. While some believe that vampire energy can make up to 75% of the energy consumed in American households, there is no doubt that it can cost individual homes several hundred dollars each year. This can be counteracted through the use of power strips that can hold television sets, cable boxes, and other electronic accessories like video game consoles. Simply unplugging the strip will cut the power to all of those devices, preventing vampire energy from costing you money and making your television more energy efficient. It may take a bit longer to enjoy your programs because of the boot-up time, but the savings you experience will likely help to alleviate the hassle of the wait time.


TV Use and Bad Habits

As with any device, it is easy to establish bad habits that waste energy and cost us more money than necessary. Television sets are no different, and many households fall into the same traps when it comes to needless usage. One of the most common bad habits is falling asleep with the television on. During those times when you are snoozing, and the television stays on, it is a needless expense that gradually increases every minute. And for those known for going to bed while the TV remains on, it may constitute a more significant portion of your monthly bill than you realize.

Similarly, relying on your television not for entertainment but to supply background noise wastes energy and adds an unnecessary expense. Yes, leaving your television on does use a lot of energy, but with a few easy tips, you can change your habits and save. Change your setting or even the chair you’re sitting on for those known to fall asleep in front of the TV. Instead of relying on a couch, find something less conducive to falling asleep on, don’t mind sitting on, like a backless chair. It will prevent you from getting to that place where you can fall asleep. You can also trade the background noise that a television provides for gentle music or use a phone or tablet to listen to programs.


You and Your TV’s Electricity

Though there is no getting around the fact that televisions will incur a charge, there are ways we can go about reducing that sum to make it easier on ourselves each month. For those currently on the market for a new TV, keep what you’ve read in mind to help you optimize your purchases in order to experience regular savings. Though energy usage may vary slightly from brand to brand, having a sense of how much electricity a TV uses will prove to be valuable both now and down the road.


Now that you’ve learned how many watts a TV uses and we’ve reviewed energy-efficient televisions, explore additional ways you can reduce your monthly electric bill. Visit paylesspower.com for cheap energy plans for both personal and business needs. Payless Power is a Texas power company committed to providing people with cheap electricity rates, transparent pricing, flexible plans, and excellent customer service. Visit the website to learn more about how to save electricity at home, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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