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TV and Radio Energy Consumption

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the average energy consumption per annum of an (a) (i) digital and (ii) analogue television and (b) (A) digital and (B) analogue radio; and if she will make a statement. (106642)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government have analysed the performances of over 630 televisions sold in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and has concluded that the difference in energy consumption between analogue and integrated digital televisions is negligible.

The annual energy consumption of a television varies significantly with screen size and television type, and defining what constitutes a ‘typical’ television is difficult. However, for a 32 in widescreen cathode-ray television, the estimates are that the annual consumption will be 292 kWh, and 310 kWh for a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen of the same size. A 42 in (a typical size for this technology) plasma TV will consume 746 kWh per year.

The total energy consumption of all UK televisions has risen in recent years. However this is not a result of the development of integrated digital tuners but a function of increased TV ownership, the trend towards larger screen sizes, and the migration away from cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions to other technologies.

In many cases the use of an integrated digital tuner will negate the need to purchase a separate set-top digital TV adapter at digital switchover. The average consumption of a typical terrestrial set-top adapter is 60 kWh per year. Public communications about digital television switchover reinforce this point by advising consumers to purchase digital, rather than analogue, if they are upgrading a television.

We do not currently have sufficient information to provide a comparison between the performance of analogue and digital (DAB) radios. However, we have identified that many portable DAB radios are supplied with external power supply units which are less efficient—and therefore consume more energy—than those sold with comparable analogue products. We will work with retailers and manufacturers to seek to address this issue. As these are relatively new products, there are likely to be efficiency gains as the products mature.