Use a highly efficient TV and say goodbye to high electricity bills

The bigger your TV, the more energy it consumes. So having your home cinema system on for too long can really drive up your electricity bill. In the following article, we tell you what to look out for when you buy a new TV and how you can keep energy costs low even if you stick with your old set.

Young heterosexual couple sitting on a sofa in front of a tv.© fotolia.com/Antonioguillem

In the cinema, the first row is the one that nobody likes to sit in because you are too close to the screen. The same goes for home cinema systems: if your TV is too big and you sit too close to it, this will negatively affect your viewing experience. At the same time, oversized TVs unnecessarily drive up your electricity bill. So when you buy a new TV, you should know in advance the distance at which you will be sitting from the device. You can use the following general rules to calculate the screen diagonal that would be best for you: If you buy a high-definition TV, you need to divide your sitting distance by three. So, for example, if you are sitting three meters from the TV, you should ideally opt for a TV that has a diagonal of one meter. If you are sitting only 1.5 meters from the TV, a 50-centimeter diagonal will be sufficient. For devices that have a very high resolution (ultra-HD or 4K), you need to divide your sitting distance by two. But there is one thing that you should keep in mind: the higher the resolution, the more electricity your TV will consume. A TV that has high-definition is absolutely sufficient for displaying standard TV content and for satisfying normal viewing habits. In addition, it keeps costs low.

Using the annual electricity consumption as a basis for comparing different devices

When you buy a new TV, you should pay attention not only to the size of the screen, but also to the EU energy label. Products that have an A+ or A++ efficiency rating of are far more efficient than those that have a B rating and help you reduce your electricity consumption – by 45 per cent when using an A+-rated device, and by up to 60 per cent when using an A++-rated device. So, for example, if you, as an average user, use an 55-inch TV, you can cut your energy bill by up to 40 euros per year. But here too, size matters: a large A+-rated TV consumes more electricity than a smaller TV of the same category. This is why you should also compare different TVs based on their annual electricity consumption (in kilowatt-hours). A device’s annual energy consumption indicates how much electricity this device consumes per year if it runs an average four hours per day.

Even if you don’t buy a new TV, there are several easy ways in which you can cut your electricity costs. Maybe you are not happy with the default brightness and contrast settings. If these are set too high, you are consuming more energy than you should. So adjusting these settings can help you reduce costs. You should also make sure that your TV is not in stand-by, particularly if you bought it before 2010, as these old models continue to consume energy even when they have been set to standby. So, if possible, you should always disconnect your device from the mains. The easiest way to do this is by installing a switchable power outlet.