Today's televisions are consuming less energy and saving consumers more money - even as TVs increase in size and resolution capabilities - according to a new study released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The study LCD Television Power Draw Trends 2003 to 2015 finds that LCD TVs from 2015 consume 76 percent less energy (per screen area) than they did in 2003, now costing consumers on average only six cents a day to power one TV.
"The declining energy use by today's TVs - which have bigger screens, more lifelike pictures, sharper resolution and are more capable than ever - is a major environmental success story," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "Tech innovation is making our favorite products thinner, lighter, faster, smarter and more energy efficient. And this study shows how our industry provides the latest and greatest tech to consumers, while remaining committed to increasing environmental sustainability."
According to the study, TVs' declining energy consumption largely stems from improvements in lighting technology and its operation. In particular, backlight dimming is reducing the power needed to display high-resolution images. Additionally, energy efficient features such as Automatic Brightness Control (ABC), which dynamically adjusts screen brightness in response to indoor lighting conditions, have become more common.
Other highlights from the study include:
From 2003 to 2015, the average on-mode power draw of TVs decreased 76 percent (from 300 to 70 mW/in2).
The passive standby draw of TVs dropped 63 percent (from .8 to .3 watts)
Since 2010, the average TV screen size increased to at least 40 inches.
More televisions are being sold with energy-saving features, such as Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) and Motion Detection Dimming (MDD).
Improvements to televisions and energy efficiency technology have jumped over the past decade. The study confirms that voluntary, market-driven initiatives, such as ENERGY STAR, have been most effective in promoting energy efficiency while also keeping up with the rapid pace of innovation. Today, more than 80 percent of the TVs sold in the U.S. satisfy the ENERGY STAR program's increasingly stringent voluntary efficiency requirements.
"Industry innovation continues to be the greatest asset we have to advance the energy efficiency of our tech devices," said Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy, CTA. "And television manufacturers deserve enormous credit - their ingenuity and commitment to making more energy efficient products is cutting our power consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering consumers' energy bills."
The study was conducted by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE and commissioned by CTA. The power draw of more than 9,000 TV models were reviewed for this study. Data came from the California Energy Commissions appliance energy efficiency database, the ENERGY STAR program specification development archives and data extracted from a study by King and Ponoum (2011).
Relevant to the power consumption of TVs, a standardized way to measure energy use is fundamental. The consumer technology industry has initiated efforts at the domestic and international levels, with participation by governments and energy efficiency advocates, to update the current consensus measurement standard for TV energy use to reflect technology and market changes.
For tips on how to live green, buy green and recycle consumer electronics responsibly, visit GreenerGadgets.org. To learn more about the consumer technology industry's sustainability and efficiency efforts, explore The Consumer Technology Association 2015 Sustainability Report.