FAQ: Can flat-screen TVs make the efficiency grade?

We saw the news last week about that ban on large TV’s being sold in California be removed, but a lot of people fail to take into consideration power issues when deciding on a TV. Just as an example, I had a small 20" LCD but it has an integrated DVD player, which consumes 30 watts! Just imagine what your big 60" Plasma eats up.


Yes, but remember size is what matters most. If you purchase a plasma TV with a 54-inch screen or bigger, it could consume 600 watts when it’s on, which is on par with your refrigerator. However, most TVs aren’t running all day, so a refrigerator will consume more electricity in total. The good news is that efficiency has been improving steadily over the past few years and there’s a lot less variability among models. So LCDs with a similar-sized screen will have about the same energy consumption rating. That’s also true, though to a lesser extent, for plasma TVs, according to CNET’s Katzmaier.