How much does your TV really cost to run?

TV manufacturers got a bit of a shock in 2021 when the energy ratings on their sets plummeted from As and Bs to Es and Fs. The rules were tightened and the ratings made stricter, and it made people more aware of how much their TVs cost to run.

Part of our in-depth TVs lab test looks at how much energy a TV will use when turned on and when in standby. We give each model a star rating based on how much energy it uses.

You can use this star rating to easily compare different TVs of the same size to see which is the most energy efficient – our star rating factors in the size of the TV, because a 65-inch TV will always cost more to run than a smaller model. Our reviews also tell you how much a TV will cost you in energy per year.

But does the type of screen make a difference, and do TVs from a particular brand cost more to run than others? Read on to find out.

We test hundreds of TVs each year, so we have reviewed almost every model available. Our reviews also include the results of our annual survey of TV owners, so we can reveal the most (and least) reliable brands and which brands owners recommend. Check our TV reviews to find your next set.

How much does a 43-inch 4K TV cost to run?

The cheapest 2021 TV to run over the course of the year was a Sony, while a Samsung was the most expensive.

How much does a 50-inch 4K TV cost to run?

Despite being seven inches bigger, the annual running costs of a 50-inch TV is only a bit more expensive than a 43-inch one.

How much does your TV really cost to run?

It’s a Panasonic TV that’s the cheapest to run, while Samsung is again the most expensive.

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How much does a 55-inch 4K TV cost to run?

The average price creeps up by £3.10, but a handful of 55-inch models are extremely expensive to run.

Hisense has the costliest 55-inch TV to run. It costs £11.43 more in energy to run each year than the cheapest 55-incher.

The cheapest 55-inch TV to run is a Samsung.

How much does a 65-inch 4K TV cost to run?

It’s no surprise that 65-inch TVs are the priciest to run. They cost almost £10 more per year than 43-inch sets on average.

This time it’s an LG TV that costs the most to run, and a Samsung model is cheapest.

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LCD, OLED and QLED, which are the most expensive to run?

You’d expect LCD and QLEDs to cost the most to run, since they have backlights. The extra layer of bulbs that shine on a colour-producing layer should mean they use more power than an OLED, which has no backlight.

43-inch average running costs50-inch average running costs55-inch average running costs65-inch average running costs

No backlight, but 55-inch OLEDs are still more expensive to run than 55-inch LCD and QLED, and only slightly cheaper than 65-inch LCD models. It’s QLED sets that come out cheapest at every size.

Which brands TVs cost the most to run?

40 to 43-inch TV average running costs*48 to 50-inch TV average running costs**55 to 58-inch TV average running costs***65-inch TV average running costs

43-inch TVs aside, it’s Sony TVs that cost the most to run, but the prices are broadly similar regardless of the brand you choose.

The biggest difference is in the 40-to-43-inch bracket. Panasonic, which exclusively makes 40-inch models, is cheapest. But of the brands making 43-inch sets, there’s a £5 difference between the cheapest and most expensive to run.

How we get our annual running costs?

Unless you’re a real addict, you’re probably not watching TV 24 hours a day, so when we get our annual running costs we base it on the TV being on for four hours a day and on standby for the other 20.

Use our free tools to make sure you choose energy-efficient appliances.

Keep up with our Black Friday TV deals

We’ve got new TV deals every day in the lead-up to Black Friday on 26 November. Keep an eye on our Black Friday TV deals to see our pick of the best ones. You can also get a head start and see some of the TVs we think will be on offer on Black Friday and see how good the TVs are in your budget.