How Buying the Right TV Will Save $1.34 Billion in Annual Energy Costs

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By Alex Katzman

In this day and age of technological innovation, you would think that televisions of the same size and type would have a similar power consumption. All TVs are definitely not made equal, though. In fact, it is quite the opposite.  LED TVs are usually at least 20 to 25% more efficient than LCDs or Plasmas. Taking 37 inch TVs (average size sold in 2012) as an example, there is a surprising 400% difference in energy usage between the most and least efficient models. And when you consider that approximately 40 million new TVs will be purchased in 2012, there is potential to save 11.2 billion kWh of electricity and $1.34 billion dollars in annual electricity costs by choosing the most efficient model.

Since it’s difficult to grasp what 11.2 billion kWh actually means, let’s convert that into people. Using the EIA’s average consumption benchmark, this translates into 996,454 households worth of energy that could be saved by choosing the more energy efficient 37 inch TVs. When you think about it, this would be the same as taking the cities of Boston and San Francisco off the grid. And in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, it would be comparable to removing 1.5 million passenger cars from the road.

This scale and the impact of simple purchase decisions led us to create the Enervee Score, which we like to think of as the MPG (miles per gallon) rating for electronics and appliances. It is a 0 to 100 (best) rating that ranks the energy efficiency of a television by comparing its energy consumption and screen area. And the best part is that, by choosing TVs with a higher Enervee Score, you can save money and save the planet at the same time without making sacrifices on the latest product features.

To help you figure out whether it is the right time to upgrade your TV, we have released a “Score my TV” app ( that scores the energy efficiency of TVs dating all the way back to the 1990s. By answering three basic questions on the type, size, and age of a TV, it is scored and compared versus the average score of all TVs on the market.  It’s not only a fun game to see who can be the most energy efficient, but it actually is very beneficial to our wallets and the environment.

For now, we have only released the Enervee Score for TVs, but we plan to have over 20 product categories scored by the end of the year. Imagine if the example above also included the potential savings for all of the appliances and electronics in the home — the impact to US consumers would be tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars.

About the author: Alex Katzman is head of business development at Enervee and has a decade of experience with strategic partnerships and enterprise software implementation in the smart grid and mobile/web sectors. He is well versed in global business, having spent four years of his career working abroad in the UK, Argentina, and South Korea. Alex holds an MBA from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. When he’s not talking to potential partners about Enervee, Alex enjoys cooking Italian cuisine, glassblowing, and rock climbing.

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8 thoughts on “How Buying the Right TV Will Save $1.34 Billion in Annual Energy Costs

  • The same article could be written about a lot of items that use energy, but refrigerators will same much more energy than TV’s. I have a 2 year old medium size one that uses about 500 watts per day. If everyone were to get a newer model I would guess we could save at least double the amount of energy used as TV’s.

    • You’re absolutely right! We are working on a tool for refrigerators and hope to have it released shortly.

  • Plus the site looks more like a buy here site. The calculator takes no information about what TV you have. Enter New LED and it will give a rating that is lower than those in on sale below section.

    • For a new LED, the calculator uses the efficiency of the average of all LED TVs on the market.

  • A useless article. They could have mentioned that LCD and LED are close and Plasma is far worse. If more bait and switch articles like this I’ll just stop reading here.

    • Actually if you take a look at the data of TVs on the market, you’ll find that on average Plasmas are more efficient than LCDs. And the difference between LCD and LED (yes I’m referring to an LCD that is LED backlit) is significant, LEDs are much more efficient.

  • Surely Americans have an energy ratings website for appliances? In Australia we have that makes it easy to find the best performers.

    This article does read like an advert, and is not very accurate. For instance, “LED” TVs, as he has used the term, is wrong, they are LCDs, just with LED backlighting instead of CCFL backlighting. Samsung was forced to stop calling theirs LED TVs in the UK because they are not LED TVs. The big screens you see at sports arenas and shopping malls are LED TVs, ie the pixels are pure LED.

    There are no true LED TVs on the domestic market, except for the very few OLED devices, and they are both expensive and use more energy than a good LED backlit LCD. Indeed, LED backlit LCDs are about as good as the tech is going to get. They are amazingly efficient nowadays, a good 42″ unit will use just 50 watts. My 2 year old 46″ Sony only uses 70 watts on average, so efficient TVs have been available for a while now…

    • The US actually has two different government labeling schemes, Energy Star and EnergyGuide but they do not actually embedded into the online shopping process. Energy Star is a yes/no certification for meeting a minimum threshold and 90% of current TVs sold are Energy Star certified. Not very helpful for comparison purposes as there is still a significant efficiency difference between even Energy Star TVs. EnergyGuide takes shows an estimated annual cost to operate, but this is based on the US average utility rate and national average viewing profile which is often very misleading.

      While both of these labels do provide helpful information, the main issue is that they are not integrated into the online shopping experience allowing consumers to easily search for products based on their energy efficiency. Enervee’s goal is to make energy efficiency data tangible and actionable.

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