Multimedia Family? Find Out Just How Much Energy Your Devices Use


On their own, your mobile phone, laptop, printer and big screen TV don’t use that much energy… but, add it all up and your multimedia lifestyle adds a chunk to your Southern Colorado energy bill.


Of course, we say that knowing full well that there’s no going back. You aren’t going to quit watching television and movies at home or surfing the Internet just to save energy.

Even though you probably won’t quit using your electronics, knowing how much energy they consume could help you decide if you want to change your habits at all.

Phantom load

Many of your electronics never actually turn off. Even when you’re not using your television, digital video recorder or desktop computer, most of those devices are still drawing about 35 watts of energy just so they can be ready to flip on at the press of a button.

At about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, each one of those devices will cost you roughly $30 a year just to keep plugged in, plus an additional expense when they’re actually in use.   The solution: Use power strips to bundle electronics that work together so you can turn it off — effectively unplugging everything — when you’re not using it.

Growing efficiency

Modern appliances have been growing increasingly more energy efficient over the years. Manufacturers are working to make their devices greener and worthy of Energy Star approval – which has proven a valuable distinction for marketing purposes – as consumers become more energy conscious.

How much energy do they use?

So, how much energy do different appliances use?

  • A 32-inch LED television costs about $6 a month to run an average of five hours a day. 
  • A 65-inch plasma TV costs about $38 a month.
  • A high-end desktop computer running about 12 hours a day would cost about $8 a month.
  • A cable box costs about $4 a year.
  • A gaming console, such as Xbox or PlayStation, costs about $3.30 a month depending on play time.
  • An iPhone costs only about 25 cents a year to charge.
  • While completely recharging an iPad every other day only costs about $1.36 a year, the Electric Power Research Institute found that the 67 million devices worldwide consume 590 gigawatt hours of electricity. 

What next?

If you want to know more about your electronics and how much energy they consume, the Energy Resource Center can conduct a home energy audit and help you make energy efficiency home improvements.

We serve residents of El Paso, Teller, Fremont, Elbert, Douglas, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande counties. We even provide free home energy audits and weatherization improvements for income-qualified families.