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What's the Electricity Usage & Cost of Watching TV?

There are an estimated 120 million TVs in households across the U.S. But while televisions are among the most commonly owned and used appliances, they actually account for a small portion of your monthly electricity usage. As TV technology advances and screens getter bigger and higher definition, one thing remains constant: TVs are remarkably energy efficient.

Still, like all electrical appliances, using your TV comes at a price. And if you use your television a lot, you can start to rack up some costs. Our TV cost calculator can help you get an estimate of how much it costs you to watch TV every night.

Television energy cost calculator

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Terminology explained

Energy language can be confusing. Below, we break down what you need to know to use our calculator.

What are watts?

Watts measure the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. More watts means more electricity, and bigger TVs will typically use more watts.

TVs have a pretty wide range of wattages because there are so many different sizes and types of TVs today. To calculate the most accurate wattage for your TV, look in the manual or on the back for the watts. You might be able to google your TV to get an accurate wattage too. From there, you can calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/kWh. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.

What is the average cost and energy use of different types of Televisions?

A TV's electricity use usually varies by the type of TV and the size. Below are the average costs and energy consumption of different TVs.

LCD Television
Screen Size
Power Consumption (Watts)
Cost / hr*
Avg Monthly Cost*
24 inches50 W0.65¢$1.56
32 inches70 W0.91¢$2.184
37 inches80 W1.04¢$2.5
42 inches120 W1.56¢$3.74
50 inches150 W1.95¢$4.68
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the TV runs for 8 hours per day
LED Television
Screen Size
Power Consumption (Watts)
Cost / hr*
Avg Monthly Cost*
24 inches40 W0.52¢$1.25
32 inches50 W0.65¢$1.56
37 inches60 W0.78¢$1.87
42 inches80 W1.04¢$2.5
50 inches100 W1.3¢$3.12
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the TV runs for 8 hours per day
Plasma Television
Screen Size
Power Consumption (Watts)
Cost / hr*
Avg Monthly Cost*
32 inches160 W2.08¢$4.99
37 inches180 W2.34¢$5.61
42 inches220 W2.86¢$6.86
50 inches300 W3.9¢$9.36
55 inches370 W4.81¢$11.54
60 inches500 W6.5¢$15.54
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the TV runs for 8 hours per day

How to save on your Television costs?

  • 1.

    Limit usage

    The first step to lowering your TV costs is watching less TV. The good news is that there are lots of other benefits of limiting your TV consumption. Here are some of our favorite alternative activities to watching TV:
    • Go outside!
    • Do an art project!
    • Cook a fun meal!
    • Bake!
    • Read a book!
    • Exercise!
  • 2.

    Make sure you turn off your TV when you're not watching it

    We all love the comfort of having a show on in the background while we take care of chores or take a quick nap. But, all those un-watched hours can add up. If you're focused on something else or feel your eyes getting heavy, try turning off the TV. There are probably some other benefits to this besides just lowering your TV electricity spend.
    You also want to make sure you don't leave your TV on standby mode. Researchers estimate that standby mode accounts for only 2.5% - 5% of your TV electricity usage.
  • 3.

    Invest in an energy-efficient TV

    4K Ultra HD TVs are awesome and all, but getting a really energy-efficient TV is pretty cool too. And with today's TV technology, you can have both. Invest in TVs with good energy star ratings. Energy Star is provided by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. This rating gives information about energy efficiency of appliances based on standardised methods.
  • 4.

    Set the brightness to normal or low

    Most newer TVs have an Eco mode which will automatically modify the brightness of your TV throughout the day. If you're looking to lower your TV's electricity usage, definitely take advantage of this setting so that your TV is only using as much lighting as it needs. And if your TV doesn't have Eco mode, you can still lower the brightness manually.
  • 5.

    Set a sleep timer

    Let's face it. We all forget to turn the TV off sometimes. Don't let those unwatched hours add up and set a timer for your TV to sleep after a certain number of inactive hours.
  • 6.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
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