If you’re still holding on to your old big box CRT TV, you may unknowingly be adding to your household bills because of their high energy consumption.
With prices falling on more energy-efficient flat screen TVs, the post-Christmas sales may be a great time to pick up a new TV that’s cheaper to run. HD TV sales continue to rise, but there are plenty of households still holding on to their older sets – in a December 2011 survey of 1,182 Which? members, 31% still owned a trusty big box CRT TV. However, our tests have found that these older TVs can consume as much as four times the energy of a modern flat screen.
High energy use of CRT TVs
To calculate the energy use of CRT TVs, we took a look back through our expert testing archives to find the last batch of big box TVs we tested, in 2005.
While we expected their energy consumption to be higher than what you’ll get from modern flat screens, when we calculated the likely impact on your electricity bills, the results were eye-opening.
One of the worst offenders from our 2005 test was a 32-inch JVC TV, the HV-32D40BK, which consumed a whopping 164W when switched on.
To put that into context, that’s four-times higher than the most efficient 32-inch flat screen we’ve tested this year – the Panasonic Viera TX-L32E3 consumes just 38.5W while switched on.
And the difference to your bills? If you were to watch TV for five hours a day and leave it in standby the rest of the time, the old big-box JVC will cost you £43 pounds a year to run, while the flat screen Panasonic will cost just £10. If you’d been running that big box TV for the last five years, you could have added over £200 to your electricity bills.
Modern screens more efficient in standby
Even when you don’t have the screen switched on, there can be a huge difference in energy consumption between an older CRT TV and modern flat screen.
In 2005, we tested the Sony KD-32DX51U TV, and found that it had a shocking standby power consumption of 13.8W. A number of other CRT models we tested that year consumed over 5W when left in standby.
These days, it’s rare for any flat screen TV to consume more than 0.5W when left in standby, meaning there’s a negligible impact on your energy bills.
Should I buy an LED TV, LCD TV or plasma TV?
If you’re looking to buy a new TV and you’re keen to keep your household bills low, it’s worth considering the differences between the various HD TV technologies available.
From our independent tests, we’ve found that LED TVs tend to be the most efficient, consuming the least energy and adding less to your bills.
LCD screens can vary significantly on energy consumption, though plasma sets tend to be the most energy-hungry of all and can add considerably to your household expenses.
- Find out more about the differences between LED, LCD and plasma TVs.
Spending more to save more?
Of course, the price outlay for buying a new TV pisn’t to be dismissed, and the costs you’re adding to your bills by keeping an old CRT TV going could be dwarfed by the costs of buying a whole new TV, even if your new TV is kinder to your household bills.
However, if you’re considering making the jump to a modern HD TV and have one eye on the January sales, then this is a great time to snap up a bargain.
We test the energy consumption on TVs while they’re switched on and in standby, as well as testing the efficiency of energy-saving features like eco-modes.
We then calculate the likely annual running costs for every TV we review, helping you figure out the impact on your household budget. The best-performing TVs are awarded our Which? Energy Saver stamp of approval.
All of our reviews feature live price-linking to online retailers, so as well as reading our expert independent test results to help you find the best HD TV, you’ll be able to track down the cheapest online retailer with ease.
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