TV Answer Man
the Plasma TV a Big Energy Hog?
Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2013)
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Q. I am shopping for
a new TV and I am interested in a Plasma, but I hear it's an
energy hog. True? And which TV is the best for my energy bill?
-- Andrea, Arlington, Virginia.
Andrea, according to the EPA, the
rear projection TV, or DLP TV, uses the least amount of energy.
Second best energy saver is the LCD TV and then the Plasma TV is
the worst, according to the agency.
The EPA didn't include new LED sets in their ranking, but most
display experts would put it between the DLP and the LCD as far
as energy costs are concerned.
Now, let me elaborate on what the
Or better yet, let me blast the
EPA for what it said.
After reading the EPA ranking, you might think the Plasma TV
will add hundreds of dollars to your annual electric bill,
Wrong! This is a common misperception about the Plasma set.
While it does take up more energy than its rivals, the actual
cost is minimal. If you watched a Plasma set for several hours a
day, you might wind up paying an extra $30-60 a year, or $3 to
$5 a month.
In contrast, if you watched a DLP, LCD or LED set for the same
amount of time, you might wind up paying an extra $15-25 a year,
or just $15-35 less than if you own a Plasma.
$15-35 less. For the whole year. That's it. Considering that
many Plasma sets are slightly less expensive than
comparably-sized LED sets, it's silly not to buy one because you
would save $15-35 a year.
The EPA doesn't make this clear on its
"I'm shopping for a big-screen TV.
Which ones are most energy efficient" page. It just says Plasma
uses the most energy, which leaves a lot to the imagination of
cost-conscious consumers, particularly when Plasma has a
reputation for being an energy hog. (A reputation achieved in
part because the early Plasma TVs did take up more energy than
The federal agency is doing a disservice to TV shoppers by not
explaining exactly how much they would pay in energy costs if they buy
one set or another.
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