August 19, 2010

Save Money With Energy Star Televisions

Big screen TVs can suck a lot of power.  If you've looked at big screen TV's lately you may have noticed that some of them have the Energy Star label.  Buying an energy efficient model can save a lot of money over the life of the unit.   It definitely makes sense to look for an Energy Star TV, but not all Energy Star TVs are equal.  You should look past the Energy Star label and find out the actual power usage of the TVs.

Difference In Energy Star Models

Lets do a quick comparison of two models:

Samsung 55" LCD model LN55C630K1F on sale for $1709.99 at Bestbuy
Sony 55" LCD model KDL-55EX500 also on sale for $1,709.99 also at Bestbuy

The TV's are both 55", they're both LCD technology and they are both on sale for $1,709.99.   Both of the TV's carry the Energy Star certification.   You would expect that they would use similar amounts of electricity, but they don't.

The EnergyStar site has data on the individual model TV's.

According to the Energy Star site the Samsung LN55C630K1F model is supposed to use 187.54 kWh a year in electricity.   At 11¢ per kWh that would be $20.63 /year.
The Energy Star page for the Sony KDL-55EX500 says it uses 267.84 kWh.   $29.46 a year at 11¢ /kWh

The Sony model uses 80.30 more kWh in electricity per year.   Thats 43% more than the Samsung TV's electricity use.

Electricity Use Can Matter a LOT

If you don't think that the electricity use of your big TV is a big deal than think again.   The models mentioned above are efficient 55" TVs that use just $20 or $29 of electricity.   What about less efficient TVs that don't even qualify for Energy Star?   

This CNet article gives Watt usage of various TVs  Check out the values for the TVs in their default settings.  If you scroll down you'll find some plasma TVs  that use 400 to 500 Watts.   One 50" Panasonic model uses 535 Watts with default settings.   That model uses $117 in electricity a year.    That 50" Panasonic model costs over $96 / year more to operate than the 55" Samsung LCD model.

The efficient Energy Star TV can save you up to $96 or more on electricity in a year.   If your TV lasts 10 years then thats $960 over its lifetime.  

Bottom Line:  Energy Star TV's can definitely save you a lot on your electricity bill.   Research the Energy Star site in advance to find the most efficient models.

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