Report: Ultra high-definition TVs could up consumers’ energy bills by $1 billion
The upfront cost for consumers to upgrade from their standard high-definition televisions to the latest ultra high-definition units is no big surprise. To get the latest technology, consumers are expected to pay a little more. But according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) ultra high-definition televisions will continually milk money from users’ wallets well after they’ve paid off their big screen purchase.
Ultra high-definition screens use an average of 30 percent more energy than their HD predecessors, which could add $1 billion to U.S. viewers’ annual utility bills in the event that energy-saving improvements are not expanded to all UHD models, according to NRDC.
“Not only do today's large UHD televisions consume almost one-third more energy, on average, than the high-definition (HD) TVs they'll replace, there is a huge range in the efficiency of the UHD models on the market,” senior scientist Noah Horowitz, director of NRDC's Center for Energy Efficiency, said in a statement. “We found an almost three-fold difference in energy consumption between the best and worst UHD TVs, with some models using little or no more energy than their HD predecessors, proving the technology already exists to cut needless energy waste in these large televisions.”
NRDC said that its report, titled “The Big Picture,” is the first to analyze the energy use of UHD televisions—devices that use eight million or more pixels and are also referred to as 4K TVs due to the images being roughly 4,000 pixels wide. NRDC and Ecos Research analyzed public databases of UHD TV energy use and market share sales data, and performed power use measurements on 21 TVs that represented a cross-section of 2015 and 2-14 models. NRDC and Ecos focused their testing on the 55-inch modes because they are “the most prevalent size and represent the best value among UHD televisions on the market today.”