The Most Energy Efficient Televisions for 2012

by Nicola Temple on April 13, 2012

Televisions have become the centrepiece of many households; a window, if you will, to worlds we may not otherwise be able to access. Over the years our televisions have grown, as has their energy use. So, which are the most energy efficient televisions on the market for 2012?

Shockingly, some of the larger, high resolution televisions can use as much electricity as a standard, new refrigerator. That’s about 500 kilowatt hours per year (kWh/year); a huge drain on your energy bill.

So, if you’re in the market for a new television, read on as I’ve listed the most energy efficient models that are currently qualified by Energy Star.

For televisions to achieve Energy Star qualification, they have to be, on average, more than 40% more energy efficient than standard models. Energy Star has made the requirements for bigger televisions even more strict; for example, a 60” TV will be, on average, 60% more efficient than a standard model.

The criteria I have used to compile my list are:

  • The models all qualified for Energy Star on or after January 2011 to ensure they are currently being sold in stores.
  • I did not include obscure brand names, though if it is less common but found on Amazon, I did include it.
  • The estimated annual energy consumption, given in kWh/year, is calculated with an assumed usage cycle of 5 hours/day in On mode and 19 hours/day in Sleep mode.
  • I assumed that people would be selecting their television largely on screen type (LCD, plasma etc.) and size, so I have listed the most energy efficient models under each screen type for a range of screen sizes where available.
  • An * in the model number means that any number or letter might be in this position.

First, let me share some basics regarding screen type as there may be some confusion around my classification of LED screens. LED screens are a relatively new technology that uses a separate LED for each color and pixel to directly emit the light. This is different from LED backlit LCD screens that use an LED array to light the LCD rather than traditional cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). LED-backlit LCD screens are included under LCD screen.

Some general observations are that LED-backlit LCD HDTVs are consistently the most efficient, usually consuming less than 100 watts.  On the other end of the scale, plasma screens are consistently the least efficient. There is also a positive linear relationship with size and energy use as the bigger the screen gets, the more power it will need.


<30”: Calypso CLP-19LE110 or ELH-185T7CAT has a 19” screen with 1366×768 pixel screen resolution and an annual energy use of 28.47 kWh/year

32-40”: The Seiki SE321FB wins in this size range with a 32” screen, 1366×768 resolution, and 84.46 kWh/year energy consumption.

42-50”: LG 47LWF*00 – 47” screen, 1920×1080 resolution, 114 kWh/year energy use.

>50”: LG 55LW5*00 – 55” screen, 1920×1080 resolution, 122 kWh/year energy use.

most energy efficient televisions 2012

For big screen lovers, the Samsung UN55ES6100F, with a 55" screen is one of the most energy efficient televisions in its size class.


All of the most efficient LCD screen televisions use LED backlit technology.

<30”: Among the smaller screens, there are a few 16” models with 1366×768 resolution getting an annual energy use of  24.27 kWh/year . These are the Quantum FX TV-LED1611, Supersonic SC-1511, and the Naxa NT-1506. Not too far behind is the Magnavox 19ME601B/F7 with a 19” screen and 28.64 kWh/year energy use.

32-40”: The clear winner here is the Samsung UN32D4000ND – with 32” screen, 1366×768 resolution, and 55.225 kWh/year energy use.

42-50”: LG 42LS56** – 42” screen, 1920×1080 resolution, 83 kWh/year energy use.

>50”: Samsung UN55ES6100F – 55” screen, 1920×1080 resolution, 97.42 kWh/year energy use.


42”-50”: Panasonic TC-42PX34, TC-P4232C, TC-P42X3 – all with 42” screen, 1024×768 resolution, and 127.3 kWh/year energy use.

>50”: Samsung PL51E450A1F, PN51E440A2F, PN51E450A1F – all with 51”screen, 1366×768 resolution, and 187.54 kWh/year energy use.


For those going for the home theater feel, there’s currently only one Energy Star qualified model, the Mitsubishi L75-A94, with a 75” screen, 1920×1080 resolution and an estimated annual energy use of 156.5 kWh/year.

Those are the most energy efficient televisions on the market for 2012, so if you’re in the market for a new TV this year, put energy efficiency high on your list of criteria!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: