Use TV More Efficiently

The TV is one of the biggest users of power in the house. Partly, this is because of the energy required to generate the picture, brightness, and colours, but it also relates to the amount of time we spend watching the box.


If you’re wanting to improve the energy efficiency of your TV, have a look at these ideas:

Make efficiency part of your decision-making process

Don’t just throw out your TV – that’s not efficient, either – but if you’re planning to replace your old one, make sure to consider the energy rating along with other features. Many TVs produced today are highly energy efficient.


You’ll probably be purchasing an LED screen instead of a plasma screen, as LEDs are 2-3x more efficient.

Adjust ambient light and blank screen settings

According to Homeselfe, there are two little changes you can make to save energy and make your TV run more efficiently.


  • Turn on the ambient light sensor. Most new TVs come with this feature, but you’ll need to turn it on. The sensor detects the amount of light in the room and adjusts the brightness of the picture to suit. When you don’t need the screen to be bright, you’ll be saving energy.
  • Switch to the blank screen. If you have a new TV, you may be using it to stream radio or music while you go about the house. This features uses a lot of energy. One way to make it more efficient is to set the screen to go blank while in radio mode. That way, you’re not wasting energy powering the colours on the screen when you’re not even watching it.

Watch less TV

Most of us watch television in the evenings to unwind after a long day at school or in the office. However, once you sit down in front of the TV, it’s tough to motivate yourself to do anything else. This results in the average New Zealander watching around 23 hours of TV per week. That’s 49 days every year, or more than nine years of your life by the time you’re 70 years old!


If this is you, then make a conscious effort to perform other tasks for an hour or two before you sit down to watch TV. Maybe you could play a board game with your family, get some housework done, take your dog for a walk, read a chapter of a book, or enjoy a favourite hobby. Cutting 1-2 hours of TV per night will save on your energy bills, allow you to still see the shows you enjoy, and give you more time for other activities.

Focus on one activity at a time

A recent study found that Kiwis are spending 15 hours per week on the internet, and three quarters of us are doing that browsing on our smartphones in front of TV. If you’re on your phone, are you really focusing on what you’re watching? Do you really need the TV on? Maybe you could listen to music instead?

Turn it off

It sounds simple, but many of us forget to turn the TV off properly after we’ve finished watching. Turning the TV off at the wall instead of leaving it on standby will save on energy.


On the same subject, try to get into the habit of turning the TV off if you’re not watching it, instead of having it as background noise.


Some of these lifestyle changes may take time to adjust, but if you want to improve the energy efficiency of your TV, you’ll need to consider your consumption habits. You can still watch your favourite shows, but also give yourself time to enjoy other activities as well.

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