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 high energy bills still grabbing the headlines, you might be wondering how much electricity does a TV use? 

It's an important question to ask right now. Energy prices are currently at a record high. The Energy Price Guarantee (opens in new tab) will protect households from higher prices while it is in effect.

Gareth Kloet (opens in new tab), Go.Compare’s energy expert, says: “It’s more important than ever to think about the energy we use and the cost of appliances – including our TVs. 

“Cutting down our TV usage might not be a priority as the winter nights draw in, 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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 inch124W4.2p22p£6.69£80.28
LG OLED Smart 4K Ultra*55 inch81W 2.8p15p£4.56£54.72
Samsung Smart 4K Ultra HD Neo QLED TV*43 inch60W2p11p£3.34£40.08
TCL LED Smart 720p HD Ready Android TV*32 inch50W1.7p9p£2.74£32.88

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 34p) 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 (opens in new tab) from Quotezone.co.uk, 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 (opens in new tab), always leaving your TV on standby will cost about £12 a year. If you connect your TV to a smart plug (opens in new tab), you can turn it off remotely. 

How much does a TV cost to run?

As a rough guide, we calculated that a 43-inch QLED TV typically costs 2p an hour to run. In comparison, an older 350W plasma TV will cost about 12p 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 34p per kWh of electricity. This is the maximum unit price energy providers can charge under the Energy Price Guarantee, which came into effect on 1 October. 

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 myjobquote.co.uk (opens in new tab) 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.”

Does a TV use a lot of electricity and how does this compare to other appliances? 

TVs are cheap to run compared to many household appliances. The following table shows how much other appliances typically cost to run per hour or per use.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ApplianceRunning cost per hour or per use
Air fryer13p (per hour)
Kettle6.8p (per use)
Microwave10.2p (per use)
Washing machine16p (per use)
Heated clothes dryer7.5p (per hour)
Electric blanket5.1p (per hour)
Indoor heater68p (per hour)
Dehumidifier8.5p (per hour)
Dishwasher51p (per hour)

Sustainability expert William Hobbs says: “The cost for running your television actually depends on multiple factors: the type of TV, the size of the screen, the wattage of the TV, and the amount of time you use it for.”

A TV's size refers to its diagonal length, measured from the upper left-hand corner of the actual TV screen to the lower right-hand corner. Most TV sizes are expressed in inches.

Some TV specifications include “energy consumption per 1,000 hours”. This is a figure for how much energy the TV would use if you watched it for 1,000 hours.

Household appliance running costs Oct 2022

(Image credit: Future)

How to cut the cost of running a TV

Buy a LED TV

According to sustainability website Beeco.green (opens in new tab) 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.