LED, LCD and plasma TV: TV energy running costs
Buying a TV can be a major household expense, but consider also the hidden long-term running costs. These can mount well into the hundreds on some models.
From our extensive lab testing, Which? has identified TVs that can cost you as little as £4 a year to run, to as much as £83 a year. That's why we've developed this handy TV running costs calculator, which shows you the true cost of buying and running a TV over the years.
How Which? tests TVs - see more about how we test TVs, and find out what makes a Best Buy in our video
You can use our running costs calculator to compare how much TVs will cost to run over their lifetime as well as adding on their purchase costs to see which models are the best value overall
Cheapest TVs to run
Our TV running costs calculator links to our expert reviews of the best TVs. This means that as well as helping you find a model that won't cost you much to run, you can pick out top-rated TVs that have been recommended by our Which? lab experts.
Even though most TVs have EU energy ratings displayed on them, these don't easily translate into a clear indication of how much running the TV will add to your household bills.
Our energy calculator works differently. We give a cost in pounds based on a likely rate of usage over a period of years. We take into consideration the likely number of hours per day a TV will be in use, as well as the number of hours in standby.
As part of our in-depth lab testing, we measure the precise energy use of every TV we test while the TVs are switched on, in standby, and using any energy-saver modes.
Energy efficiency for TV screen size
The size of a TV will have an inevitable impact on its energy use. Smaller sets are likely to consume less energy than large TV sets.
When we give a TV a rating for its energy use, this is always calculated to be relative to the TV's screen size, as judged against the performance of other TVs of this size.
It's not always the case that smaller sets consume less energy, however. We've tested highly efficient large TV screens which consume less energy than models which are half their size.
Which? energy efficient TVs
To highlight Best Buy TVs that are energy efficient and have low running costs, we've introduced our Which? Energy Saver logo.
This award is only given to Best Buy appliances that meet our own energy-efficiency criteria, and it has been designed to help you pick out models which offer great performance without adding unduly to your energy bills.
For TVs, we only award our Energy Saver logo to Best Buy models which also achieve a rare five star rating for energy consumption while switched on and in use.
The Which? Energy Saver logo is a Which? rating and is not in any way endorsed by or associated with official EC labelling laws or regulations.
- The best energy efficient TVs - discover our top energy sipping TVs, an find out which types of TV are the most expensive to run
- Buying a new TV – read our in-depth guide to buying a TV
- Choose between Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba - see our detailed guide to all the main brands