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How much does it cost to run a TV all day?

The cost of running a TV all day varies depending on the size and efficiency of the TV, electricity rates in your area, and how many hours per day the TV is on. However, estimates range from $0.12 – $0.60 per hour for an LCD TV to $0.24 – $1.08 per hour for a plasma TV.

Factors that affect the cost

There are several key factors that affect how much it costs to run a TV all day:

  • TV size – Larger TVs require more electricity to power and often have larger power draws.
  • TV type – Older CRT and plasma TVs are generally less energy efficient than modern LCD and LED TVs.
  • Energy efficiency – An Energy Star certified TV meets efficiency guidelines that lead to lower energy use.
  • Electricity cost – The rate you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) greatly impacts the cost.
  • Daily usage – The more hours per day the TV is on, the higher the cost.

Estimated cost by TV type

Here are some rough estimates for how much it costs to run different types of TVs for 24 hours:

TV Type Size Power Use Cost for 24 hrs
LCD 32-inch 80 watts $0.96 – $1.92
LCD 50-inch 120 watts $1.44 – $2.88
Plasma 50-inch 320 watts $3.84 – $7.68
CRT 32-inch 150 watts $1.80 – $3.60

*Based on electricity rates of $0.12 – $0.24 per kWh

Cost calculation

To estimate the daily cost of running your TV, you’ll need to know:

  • Your TV’s power rating (watts) – usually on the back of the TV or in product specs
  • Your electricity rate per kWh – check with your utility company
  • Number of hours the TV is on per day

Once you have those figures, you can use this simple calculation:

TV power rating (watts) x Hours used per day x Electricity rate ($/kWh) / 1000 watts = Daily cost

For example, if you have a 42-inch LED TV that uses 120 watts, electricity at $0.15/kWh, and the TV is on for 5 hours a day, the calculation would be:

120 watts x 5 hours x $0.15 / 1000 = $0.09 per day


Running a modern, energy efficient 42-50 inch LCD/LED TV for 24 hours a day can cost $1.00-$3.00 depending on electricity rates. Older TV types like plasma and CRTs can cost $2.00-$7.00 or more to run for a full day.

To save on energy costs, consider replacing very old TVs with energy efficient models, utilizing power saving features like automatic brightness adjustment and sleep timers, and being mindful of your daily TV watching habits.