With the exception of Christmas, the time leading up to the Super Bowl usually has the highest number of television purchases. Fans often pick this time to upgrade their televisions so they can enjoy the game.  The television market has lots of great choices with stunning picture quality and amazing features. An added bonus is that with so much competition, TV prices have fallen dramatically from even a year ago.

However, buying a new television with so many choices can be an overwhelming experience for some consumers. With so many things to consider, especially with the excitement of the big game coming up, it is sometimes easy to overlook one important factor - energy consumption.

The good news for consumers is the process of comparing energy consumption is fairly easy. Televisions are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry an EnergyGuide label. This label is designed to help consumers easily compare televisions by looking at wattage specifications and estimated yearly energy cost.

There is another label to look for - the ENERGY STAR®  label. Fortunately most televisions today have an ENERGY STAR rating which will ensure it is among the best in class for energy savings.

When purchasing a new television also consider the following consumer tips:

  • Calculate the energy cost of the television based on your typical usage.  
  • Once you purchase a new TV, calibrate it by adjusting the contrast and brightness to a moderate level. By default, new televisions are set to dynamic, high-contrast settings which consume more power than standard, lower contrast settings.  You can always turn the dynamic, high-contrast settings back on for specific sporting events or visual and audio rich movies.  
  • Plug your TV and components into a smart power strip to prevent energy waste when the system is not powered on.
  • When considering components for your new television, such as a surround sound system, use the same guidelines for an ENERGY STAR rating and wattage to ensure you keep your new system as energy efficient as possible.