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January Energy-Saving Product Tip from NYSERDA

Shopping for TVs Spikes Pre-Super Bowl: How to Choose and Use a TV that Saves Energy

January 12, 2011

  1. January is the biggest month of the year for TV purchases, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, spurred by gift cards from the holidays and the desire to watch the Super Bowl in style. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers the following energy-saving tips for TV-shoppers and TV-watchers.
  2. Shop for ENERGY STAR TVs. ENERGY STAR-qualified TVs use about 40 percent less energy than standard televisions and are available in many types of technologies, including Light Emitting Diode (LED), Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and plasma. Look for the ENERGY STAR label.
  3. Select the right size TV. If a TV is too large for your room, you will waste energy and stress your eyes from scanning left to right to cover the wide-screen format; if the TV is too small, you will save more energy but you will strain your eyes trying to see the detail of the picture. For the best picture, optimized energy savings and best viewing distance, measure the distance between the main seating area and the TV screen. Divide that distance by 1.5 to get the right screen size.
    Lower your TV brightness setting. When manufactured, TVs are packaged with high brightness settings, because the manufacturer wants to recreate the bright picture that attracted the consumer to purchase the TV. Reducing the brightness can cut power use by as much as half, and you’ll be surprised at the minor difference in picture quality at 60 percent brightness versus 100 percent.
  4. Connect your TV to an advanced power strip to manage its components. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 10 percent of your annual household energy consumption comes from products that use energy when they are turned off. This phenomenon is called standby power loss, and the electronics connected to your television or home entertainment system (DVD players, gaming consoles, etc.) are the major energy-wasting culprits. An advanced power strip can eliminate this standby power.
  5. Ask your cable TV provider for an ENERGY STAR-qualified cable box. Cable boxes are getting more energy intensive. A home with two of them uses significantly more electricity than it takes to run a new conventional clothes washer (roughly 365 kWh) every year. To save energy without sacrificing functionality, choose an ENERGY STAR-qualified cable box or look into one of the new streaming video devices that provide access to TV programs and more.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 01/22/2014