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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Energy Use of Televisions and Videocassette Recorders in the U.S.


This study was undertaken to estimate current energy use of residential televisions (TVs) and videocassette recorders (VCRs) in the United States. Ownership and usage statistics were taken from media research, while average power values were derived from power measurements of nearly 500 units. Results indicate that TVs and VCRs comprise 3.6% of U.S. residential electricity consumption. In homes with at least one TV, the average annual household TV energy consumption is 310 kWh, 23% of which is consumed while the sets are off. In homes with at least one VCR, the average annual household VCR energy consumption is 100 kWh, over 50% of which is consumed while the units are off. This report estimates the energy use of TVs and VCRs in the residential sector only. Total U.S. TV and VCR energy consumption is expected to be roughly 10 to 15% higher,depending on the number of TVs and VCRs in the U.S. commercial and industrial sectors and the usage of those units.

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