You wouldn’t think that one little word, ultra, would make such a big difference. But it turns out that going from a High-Definition (HD) TV to an Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TV does make a difference – a $1 billion difference according to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Basically, that would be the additional annual cost to U.S. viewers’ utility bills if everyone switched to UHD TVs without the energy-efficient bells and whistles. However, there are some UHD models, such as those that are ENERGY STAR certified, that are just as efficient as the HD TVs. But since there are no regulations in place enforcing those efficiencies for all of the UHD TVs, there are many that use almost one-third more energy on average.
“The national energy and environmental consequences of the transition to UHD TV will be profound unless the TV manufacturing industry devotes sufficient time and resources to improve the efficiency of the TVs brought to market,” explains senior scientist Noah Horowitz, director of NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency. “The good news is that there are steps consumers, manufacturers, and policymakers can take to make sure our newest-generation televisions are not needlessly wasting energy.”
What Consumers Can Do
If you’re thinking about buying a UHD TV, the simplest thing you can do is buy an ENERGY STAR certified one. You can shop using filters on the Find and Compare Products section of ENERGY STAR’S website. If you already own a UHD TV, make sure to enable the Automatic Brightness Control. If your UHD TV is connected to the Internet, turn off the quick start feature, which will stop the standby power from being used, which can add up to considerable energy use. There are probably other electronics and appliances throughout your home that are also drawing unnecessary energy. To learn more, read “Save Energy by Slaying Vampire Power.”