Television and home theatre

Home entertainment products (such as televisions, audio equipment and DVD players) use large amounts of electricity, accounting for around two-thirds of standby use in your home. Nationwide, this wasted electricity adds up to over $100 million a year.


Your television might be one of the biggest electricity users in the home - at worst, using more power than your fridge. Televisions now rank as the 4th biggest energy consuming appliance in the average household - because of their increased size and use. While flat screen TVs look great, the bigger the screens are, the more electricity they use. Larger models can cost over $150 a year to run ($1,500 over a 10 year service life).

Choosing a television

Generally, people choose televisions based solely on price, size and picture quality, but there are other things to consider.

  • The larger the screen, the more electricity it uses - before you buy, ask in the shop or check the manual for electricity consumption, or use the energy rating label to estimate a year's use.
  • LCD (LED) TVs - tend to be the most efficient flat screen technology on the market.
  • Plasma screen TVs - used to be quite power hungry, but the technology has become much more efficient. Size for size, the most efficient plasma TVs now use a third of the energy of older models.
  • Brighter screens tend to use more energy - check that your television is set to the recommended brightness.

Television energy labels

Look for energy rating labels to compare models.

  • If you’re comparing similar models look for the one with the higher star rating. The more stars the more energy efficient the television.
  • The lower the energy consumption in kWh per year the less the television will cost to run.

Choose an ENERGY STAR® qualified television for the best energy efficiency. An ENERGY STAR qualified television could use up to 45% less electricity than a non-ENERGY STAR qualified model.

 Energy rating labels

 ENERGY STAR qualified products

 ENERGY STAR retail partners

Smart use of televisions

  • Switch your television off at the wall when you're not using it.
  • When you buy a television, consider what size you really need to satisfy your needs. For more information on choosing the right sized television for you, visit the Consumer NZ website.

Television buying guide - Consumer NZ website

Other home entertainment equipment

DVD players, home theatre systems, set top boxes (digital receivers), games consoles and audio equipment can each use anywhere between $30 and over $350 worth of electricity a year. A lot of this electricity usage occurs when you leave the device in standby mode. You can reduce this by:

  • buying products which have low standby electricity consumption
  • switching products off by using the on/off button or unplugging at the wall, not by using the remote.

Home entertainment equipment energy labels

ENERGY STAR qualified home entertainment products use 1W or less of electricity in standby mode. That's up to 90% less than some non-ENERGY STAR equivalent products.

 ENERGY STAR qualified products