In terms of electricity usage, TVs have come a long way since the tubed versions of the 1950s and ‘60s. Modern LED TV energy consumption is substantially lower. And lower than most other home appliances and devices, too.

Still, it’s worth knowing how much electricity a TV uses per month and how that impacts your energy bill.

Break out your TI-82 calculator; we have some quick and dirty math to do!

How Much Electricity Does a TV Use?

Modern TVs use about 50-150% less energy than their tube and valve predecessors, but your TV still uses a fair amount of electricity.

The energy consumption of a TV is measured in two different units of measurement: watts and kilowatt-hours. Watts measures the immediate rate of electricity usage. Kilowatt-hours measures the amount of electricity used per hour.

How many watts does a TV use?

On average, modern TVs use around 100 watts, depending on the model. Larger screens require as much as 200 watts, so if you have a 50-inch-plus TV, you can double our calculations below. For context, the average refrigerator uses between 350 and 780 watts, so TVs use less electricity than your most energy-intensive appliances. But if you have multiple TVs that get a lot of use, or larger-screened TVs, then the energy use starts to add up quickly.

How many kilowatt hours does a TV use?

The average American family watches 2.79 hours of TV daily, or about 2 hours and 27 minutes. That equates to 5,010 minutes per month – over three days total!

To make our math a little easier, let’s calculate how much energy a TV uses based on 2 hours of use per day:

  •  100 watts x 2 hours = 200 watt-hours

Since 1,000 watt-hours equals 1 kilowatt-hour, then:

  • 200 watt-hours = 0.2 kilowatt-hours per day

That’s a total of 6 kilowatt-hours per month!

As you’d expect, households that watch more TV can expect to use more electricity and pay slightly more on their monthly electricity bill.

How much? Electricity rates vary by region, but based on the national average of 15.45 cents per kilowatt-hour, the typical household would pay about 93 cents per month to watch TV and $11.16 annually – less than your streaming subscription!

But there’s a rub …

Read more: Debunking Energy Efficiency Myths

Do TVs Use Electricity When They’re Off?

Yes. Like most devices, your TV draws a small amount of electricity even when it’s off. Most TVs use about 1.3 watts in standby mode, or about 2-5% of the wattage required when turned on. It’s a small amount of power, but devices like TVs have a big impact nationwide.

Consider the scale: 96% of US homes have at least one TV, a total of over 125 million! The average home now has 2.3 TVs; that’s a tremendous amount of energy wasted every minute! Even if we limit it to one TV per home, that’s 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity just to power our TVs while we’re not actually watching them!  

How to Reduce Your TV’s Consumption of Electricity

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to reduce your TV’s electricity consumption …

1. Turn off your TV if you’re not actively watching!

It seems obvious, but turning off your TV makes a big difference. Turn off your TV whenever you’re not actively watching it. If you need a little background noise, turn on the radio or listen to a smart speaker instead.

2. Use a sleep timer.

If you’re having trouble remembering to turn off your TV, use the sleep timer function. This will automatically shut off the TV after a set period of time.

3. Unplug your TV.

If you know you won’t watch TV for a while, unplug it! This will eliminate electricity waste entirely. You can also use a power strip to quickly disconnect your TV and other electronics all at once!

4. Opt for Energy Star-rated televisions.

Energy Star-rated TVs meet strict efficiency standards that lower electricity consumption and save you money every minute their plugged in. They use roughly 25% less electricity than other models in sleep and idle modes and while in use. When it’s time to upgrade, look for an Energy Star-rated television whenever possible.

Reducing electricity waste lowers your monthly energy expenses and reduces carbon emissions – it’s a win-win! Check out additional resources and solutions for lowering your home’s electricity use and talk with everyone in your household about reducing electricity use and watch your electricity bill drop!

Energy Efficiency Starts at Home with Mister Sparky Electric

Discover more smart ways to save with help from your local Mister Sparky Electric. Looking to cut your electricity bill down to size? Count on Mister Sparky to recommend cost-effective improvements that make cents. Find the Mister Sparky location near you or call (800) 906-4577 today!