As our love of home entertainment items continues to increase, so do the running costs of these appliances. Follow our tips to help you stop your TV and entertainment gear from playing around with your hard earned cash.
Energy sense tips
- Look for a TV unit with an LCD screen or other energy efficient technology. Plasma screen units can use at least double the electricity of an LCD unit1.
- Choose an appropriately sized TV for your room. Large screen TVs, particularly plasma screen units, will use significantly more electricity than their smaller screen equivalents.
- Turn it off at the wall – you could be paying more for standby power than you think. Energy guzzlers like large screen TVs and gaming systems require a large amount of energy to run and will keep drawing power when on standby.
- Use multi-point power boards to supply your home entertainment devices, which make it really easy to turn them all off at the wall when you're not using them.
- Use a remote controlled standby eliminator to turn off your TV and entertainment system.
- Change your desktop computer to a laptop - it's worth remembering that a laptop computer uses up to $50 a year less electricity than a desktop computer2.
- Turn your computer screen off when you are away from your desk for extended periods. Screen savers don't save energy unless they turn the monitor off.
- Turn your printer off when not in use, or purchase one with a sleep mode.
- Switch your mobile chargers off at the wall once the phone is fully charged. This could save you up to $50 a year3.
- Look for a high energy star rating when replacing home entertainment or office appliances.
About star ratings
The Energy Rating Labelling Scheme is a national program to support the development and supply of energy efficient appliances by providing clear and objective information.
This information is intended to help customers understand the energy requirements and running costs of different appliances and help them to choose an appliance which meets their needs.
When buying a new TV, check the energy rating label. These labels provide a comparative assessment of the appliance's energy efficiency and typical annual energy usage (in kilowatt hours per year).
For more information, visit the Energy Rating Labelling Scheme website.
Standby energy can account for 4% or more of household electricity use4 – that means that around 4% of your electricity bill may be going towards your appliances doing nothing.
Avoid using standby power by turning off your home entertainment equipment at the wall when not in use.
Keeping appliances in standby mode has its conveniences, but the costs for doing this can really add up – particularly if you have a lot of older or less efficient appliances.
The only way to make sure they don't keep drawing power when they're not being used is to turn them off at the wall.
To help make this easier, if you have an entertainment unit that must stay on to record programs (e.g. a set top box), look for an automatic standby removing power board that includes sockets that stay on permanently. These power boards detect when your TV is turned off and shut down power to connected peripherals (e.g. video game consoles, DVD players) so that no energy is wasted. Search for "standby power board" on the internet to find further information. Or use a remote controlled standby eliminator turn your appliances on and off in hard to reach places like behind the TV.
1. Based on comparing plasma and LCD units with the same screen size.
2. Based on 312W 17" LCD monitor and 420W desktop computer compared to 168W 17" laptop computer running for an average of 1 hour per day.
3. Based on 3 chargers plugged in 24 hours a day with a standby wattage of 1.8W.
4. Electricity breakdown obtained from "Achieving early and affordable greenhouse gas reductions in Queensland".