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What’s The Difference #1: TVs

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The average person in the UK watches over 3 hours of TV per day (1) and our TV’s are getting huge, but since you’re here, you’ll want to know the energy use of different TV types and how much they cost!

Here at The Energy Community we think that a TV is a TV, and the more money you spend on them the better the quality of the picture. However, there are three different types that you’ll choose between: Plasma, LCD and LED TVs.

4501126718_71249601cc_zAll TV’s need to produce light so you can see them and this is what uses up energy.

Plasma screens excite gas (by using energy), which releases light. LCD and LED TVs just use normal (but small) lightbulbs. LCD TVs use CCFLs and LED TVs use LEDs (don’t worry about what these stand for!).

Here’s the key bit: exciting gas and using CCFLs use a lot more energy than LEDs. Therefore, LED TV’s use the least energy. For the same size of TV, an LED TV typically uses half the electricity of  a LCD/Plasma TV.


For a medium (up to 42inch) TV the costs of running it are around about £10-20 per year difference between types. The big difference comes when you increase the size of the TV as well.

When you move into the 55-60 inch area, your cost roughly doubles again, which starts getting into serious money. A big plasma could easily cost four times as much money as a smaller LED TV, and they cost way more in the first place. The questions for you are whether you can afford it and whether it is worth the higher initial cost and running costs.

One last thing…

As with most electricals, take a look at the energy rating.  An A+ rated TV will be about 15% more efficient than an A rated TV. So for one of the big ones, you could add another £5-10 per year onto your bill.

So, to sum up…

  1. LED TVs are the most efficient, so look at these first.
  2. Then only choose the size TV that you need, because it will cost you more in the long run. 
  3. Then choose the best energy rating that you’re willing to pay

Most websites and stores will give you the typical number of KWh‘s in the description, so if you’re keen, get your phone calculator out and times that number by 0.12 (which is about the price of electricity per KWh 12p/KWh). That will tell you the running cost of the TV per year, allowing you to compare!

If you want to know anything at all about this, or anything else energy, then get in touch at our Facebook, Twitter (@TheEnergyCom) or ask a question on our Forum, and we’ll give you an answer!






  • Alex Buckman
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    Alex Buckman
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