Electricity bills expected to rise with uptake of 4K television sets

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Household energy bills from watching television are likely to increase for the first time since 2011 as the uptake of 4K sets takes hold, according to a report.

Two million homes are expected to own a 4K, or ultra high definition, TV by the end of this year, with that figure soaring to nine million by 2019, the upcoming British Gas Home Energy Report 2016 says.

However, the bonus of more pixels and therefore greater picture clarity requires a third more energy than an HD TV, with UK consumers predicted to pay an extra £82 million in electricity costs by 2019, the study, based on data analysed by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), claims.

The report shows that the average household spent £14 in 2001 on powering its TV for a year, increasing to £20 in 2008.

The cost then declined over the next seven years to £18, driven by more energy-efficient TVs.

However, last year the average 4K TV used 33% more energy than an HD TV, making the latest technology's electricity needs on average more than three times that of a laptop and five times that of a games console.

British Gas Smart Energy spokesman Daniel Colford said: "TV has long been considered the nation's favourite pastime and as such people will always look to upgrade to the latest technology to improve their viewing experience.

"With living rooms now awash with technology and entertainment gadgets, many of which routinely use power even if on standby, we recommend taking a closer look at each device to see how its energy use can be reduced and getting smart meters installed to monitor overall household energy consumption."

The report recommends consumers turn the TV off completely rather than leave it on standby, choose 4K TVs with energy efficient modes and check the household smart meter to see how much energy is being used by devices.