March 1, 2011
In an increasingly eco-aware world, it's good to know that your TV is keeping the pace.
Televisions now feature an energy rating label that allows you to compare their energy efficiency to similar products.
There two things you need to be looking at when presented with Energy Star rating label on a television: firstly you have the star rating. Measured out of six possible stars, the more stars covered by the red ‘meter’ graphic, the more energy efficient the TV is. If one 50 inch LCD panel registers two stars, and the one next to it registers four stars, then you know instantly that the four-star TV uses less power. But you don’t know how much, exactly, or what it’ll cost you to run, which is where the second piece of information on the label comes in.
An absolute electricity usage number, the ‘Energy Consumption’ figure tells you how many kilowatts (kW) of power the TV will use per year. It’s based on 10 hours’ viewing at standard TV settings, for consistency purposes. There’s also an extra ‘Super Efficiency Rating’, consisting of four more stars above the original set, like some kind of halo of goodness, for products that exceed the six-star level: again, the more of those that are filled, the more efficient the TV is.
The stars are relative to the TV’s screen size, the energy consumption number is not. Clearly, you can’t fairly compare the star rating of a 32 inch LCD TV with a 60 inch plasma, as a smaller screen will use less power than a larger one; it has to be ‘like for like’. But if you want to know how much a TV will cost you to run each year, check your last electricity bill to find the cost of each kW/h – ours is 17.61 cents – and then multiply that by the Energy Consumption number on the label.