Sat. Feb 4th, 2023
Americans own fewer TVs on average than they did in 2009

Americans went from an average of 2.6 TVs per household in 2009 to 2.3 TVs in 2015, according to research data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).

The data comes from the agency’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), which has been conducted periodically since the 1970s to understand U.S. energy use. The 2015 survey included 5,600 respondents who were contacted in person and then given the option of following up by mail or online. A detailed report on the results of the investigation will be released in April 2017.

The most recent data shows that 2.6 percent of households had no TV at all in 2015, an increase from the previous four surveys in 2009, 2005, 2001 and 1997, which showed a constant 1.2 to 1.3 percent of households did not have a TV . The 2015 data also showed that the number of people with three TVs or more decreased in 2015. That year, 39 percent of households had more than three TVs, while in 2009, 44 percent had more than three TVs.

Interestingly, the number of households with one or two TVs increased in 2015 from 54 percent in 2009 to 58 percent.

The EIS does not address the cause of this shift, but notes that “younger households tend to have a lower concentration of televisions per person and a higher concentration of portable devices such as laptops and smartphones. Older households are more likely to have higher concentrations of desktop computers.” (Anecdotally, the Ars staff seem to agree that having one or two really nice TVs for family viewing, as well as assistive devices for streaming media, is preferable to having several perfectly fine TVs.)

The government is investigating TV use because it is part of a household’s total energy consumption. According to the EIA, about 6 percent of all electricity used in American homes comes from TVs, cable boxes, DVRs, video game consoles and other peripherals.

As TVs get bigger and higher in resolution, they can also use a lot more electricity. Last September, the Natural Resources Defense Council hired an outside research firm to study the energy consumption of TVs and found that several TV manufacturers built their TVs to narrowly pass federal energy tests while consuming much more electricity as one of the TV’s baseline settings are changed.

By akfire1

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