How much electricity does a TV use and how much does it cost?

Wondering how much electricity does a TV use? It’s an important question as the answer has a huge impact on your energy bills. Here’s what you need to know

Parents and children sitting on a sofa in front of a tv that is hanging on the wall in the living room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With energy prices still high, you might be wondering how much electricity does a TV use and how much it's costing you.

Families continue to worry about how much their energy bills will cost even though the energy price cap has dropped. Even though the cap has dropped, energy prices are still much higher than before the energy crisis took hold, so it's still important to try and save energy where you can. 

Gareth Kloet, energy expert at Go.Compare, says: “Cutting down our TV usage might not be a priority, but we can reduce costs by making sure televisions aren’t left on standby mode. Leaving your television on standby isn’t the same as turning it off fully, and will use energy – therefore costing you money. So, always avoid standby mode and turn your devices off at the plug instead.

“Using multiple televisions will cost you more of course, so this is an additional reason to bring the family together for family film and TV nights, if you can agree on something to watch!”

If you're curious how to save energy in your home, it pays to understand exactly how much electricity your most-used appliances use, and ultimately how much it costs. 

How much electricity does a TV use and how much does it cost? 

The average TV uses approximately 0.07875kWh of electricity per hour, based on the example TV sets we've looked at below. But when it comes to how much electricity your specific TV uses, the answer depends on what kind of TV you have, how big the screen is and your TV's power rating. 

According to Ofcom's Media Nations 2022 report, the average person in the UK watched TV for for an average of five hours 16 minutes per day in 2021. So before you settle down for your next Netflix binge, it’s good to know how much energy your TV uses and how much running it will cost.

The following table shows the power rating of various example TV sets, how much it costs to watch per hour, per day, per month and per year (assuming you watch five hours and 16 minutes of TV a day, every day). 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Screen sizePower rating (in Watts)Cost per hourCost per dayCost per monthCost per year
Samsung LED Smart 4K Ultra HD TV*65 inch124W3.7p19.5p£5.93£71.16
LG OLED Smart 4K Ultra*55 inch81W 2.4p12.6p£3.83£45.96
Samsung Smart 4K Ultra HD Neo QLED TV*43 inch60W1.8p9.4p£2.86£34.32
TCL LED Smart 720p HD Ready Android TV*32 inch50W1.5p7.8p£2.37£28.44

Samsung UE65BU8000 LED Smart 4K Ultra HD TV, LG OLED55C26LD OLED Smart 4K Ultra, Samsung QE43QN90BA Smart 4K Ultra HD Neo QLED TV, TCL 32S5200K LED Smart 720p HD Ready Android TV

You can work out exactly how much electricity your TV uses by dividing its wattage by 1,000 to determine how many kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity it uses. If you then multiply this by how much you pay per unit of electricity (you can check your energy bill for the specific price, or use the national average of 30p) you can work out how much it costs to run per hour. 

Don’t forget that your TV will still use power while on standby. Savings expert Helen Rolph from, says: “Some smart TVs can use a lot of energy on standby just because certain features are enabled – for example “wake up via WIFI” is thought to use almost as much as having the TV turned on.”

According to EcoCostSavings, always leaving your TV on standby will cost about £12 a year. If you connect your TV to a smart plug, you can turn it off remotely. 

How much does a TV cost to run?

As a rough guide, we calculated that a 43-inch, 60W QLED TV typically costs 1.8p an hour to run. In comparison, an older 350W plasma TV will cost about 10.5p an hour to run. But, ultimately, the running costs will depend on the type of TV you have, how energy efficient it is and how long you use it for.

These calculations are based on a cost of 30p per kWh of electricity. This is the maximum unit price energy providers can charge under the new energy price cap, which came into effect on 1 July. 

Older plasma screen TVs use a lot more electricity than more modern OLED (organic light-emitting diode), QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode), LED (light-emitting diode) and LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs.

Sustainability expert William Hobbs from says: “When searching for the most energy efficient TV for your home, it’s important to look at the brand, wattage and energy rating. TVs are rated on a scale of A-G for energy efficiency, A being the most efficient and G being the least. 

“This scale was revised in March 2021, so most TVs will list a rating between E and G. Look for a TV with a rating of E to get the most out of your energy.”

See how much running a television compares to other appliances by checking out our other running cost guides, such as how much it costs to run a tumble dryer and how much it costs to run a microwave.

How to cut the cost of running a TV

Buy a LED TV

According to sustainability website the most energy efficient type of TV is an LED (light emitting diode) flat screen. OLED and QLED use slightly more energy, as each pixel is individually lit rather than using LED backlighting. Old-style plasma TVs use a lot more energy that LED, OLED or QLED.

Pick a small screen size

The bigger your TV, the more energy it will use. Even the most energy efficient 65 or 75 inch TV sets will use more energy than a less efficient smaller TV.

Dim the screen

The higher the screen brightness, the more energy your TV will use. You can find the brightness settings in the TV menu – some TVs also have an eco mode, while others have a sensor that measures ambient light, so the TV automatically adjusts the brightness accordingly.

Don’t have your TV on in the background

Use your TV less by only switching it on when you actually intend to sit down and watch it. Don’t leave it on in the background or when you go out – it’s a waste of energy and money.

Use a price comparison site, like our sister site Go.Compare to see if you could be paying less for your energy. Find out how much some of your other most used appliances cost to run with out guides to how much it costs to run a washing machine, how much it costs to run an air fryer and how much it costs to run a slow cooker

Emma Lunn
Personal finance expert

Emma Lunn is a multi-award-winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. With more than 18 years of experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including all aspects of energy - from the energy price cap to prepayment meter tricks, as well as mortgages, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, pensions and investments. Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday and the Mirror.