Do You Have the SUV of the TV World?
My TV is great for watching movies and high-definition TV shows, but how much electricity is it taking just to run the thing? The answer is, probably a lot — but not as much as some TVs.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m vegging out on the couch watching some boob tube, the last thing on my mind is energy efficiency (unless maybe I’m watching the Discovery Channel). But, I am aware that the hypnotic hunks of glowing plastic in our living rooms can be a major energy suck, so I thought it might behoove me to check out the facts. The TV I have is a 42-inch LCD flat-screen. It’s great for watching movies and high-definition TV shows, but how much electricity is it taking just to run the thing? The answer is, probably a lot — but not as much as some TVs. According the California Energy Commission, the average LCD flat-screen TV uses about 0.27 watts of electricity per square inch, compared to 0.13 watts per square inch for a rear-projector TV (that’s the old-school kind of set) and 0.34 watts per square inch for a plasma TV. (Another interesting/disturbing fact: According to the commission, up to 5% of all TV energy consumption comes from TVs on standby mode – TVs that aren’t even on!) So, as flat-screen and plasma TVs become more affordable, you can imagine what’s happening: The amount of energy we consume is going through the roof. Some groups, including the California Energy Commission, have even proposed bans on certain inefficient TV sets until the technology is developed to make them better for the environment. I may not have the Hummer of the TV world, but it looks like I at least have the equivalent of a Ford Explorer. And, I know that as soon as the Prius of the TV world becomes available, I’ll be happy to trade in my clunker!