cost to run monitor

How much does it cost to run a monitor?

If you work from home, play games online, or work in an office heavily dependent on computers, you probably use a monitor daily. But have you ever wondered how much it costs to run a monitor daily, or yearly?

If you have, this monitor electricity cost calculator will help you estimate how much it could cost to run a monitor per day, per month, or per year. Just fill in the required figures into the calculator and you’ll get an instant cost calculation.


(Estimated Running Cost)

uswitch energy deal

How many watts does a monitor use?

Monitors typically consume between 20-100 Watts, with LED monitors at the lower end (20-30W) and larger traditional LCDs reaching upwards of 100W. Gaming and professional monitors consume more due to higher performance requirements.

Are monitors energy efficient?

Power efficiency improvements in monitor technology mean that modern monitors tend to be more energy-efficient than older models.

For instance, LED monitors usually consume less energy compared to their LCD or CRT counterparts.

However, the cumulative cost over time can still be significant, especially if the monitor is used frequently or left on standby when not in use.

See also: How much does it cost to run a TV in the UK?

Understanding monitor power consumption

monitor plug

When considering the running costs of a monitor, you need to account for the type of monitor you are using and the technology it uses. These factors significantly influence its power consumption and subsequent energy costs.

Types of monitors

Here’s a quick look at the most common types of monitors you’ll come across, they’re listed from worse to most energy efficient.

  • CRT monitors: Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors, now mostly obsolete, are the more traditional monitors that consume more power compared to newer technologies.
  • LCD monitors: Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors are more energy-efficient than CRTs. They use fluorescent backlighting to illuminate the pixels on the screen.
  • LED monitors: Light-emitting diode (LED) monitors further reduce power consumption. These monitors use LEDs for backlighting, which is more efficient than the fluorescent backlights used in LCDs.
  • OLED monitors: Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) monitors represent one of the latest advancements in display technology. OLED monitors do not require a backlight because each pixel produces its own light, offering the potential for further energy savings.

Power rating and technology

  • Power rating: The power consumption of a monitor is often rated in watts (W). This gives you a direct measure of the energy used per hour of operation. For example, a 21.5-inch Full HD LED monitor might be rated around 25 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 1000 hours of use.
  • Energy consumption: To calculate energy costs, you’ll need to consider the kilowatt-hours and local energy prices. For instance, at 0.29 pence per kWh, a monitor with a 25W consumption used 8 hours per day could add approximately £21.17 to your annual electricity bill.

Calculating the cost to run a monitor

monitor electricity calculator

To calculate the cost of running a monitor, you’ll need to know the device’s power consumption in watts and the duration of your daily usage. By knowing your electricity rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh), you can estimate the running cost.

Example calculation:

  • Power consumption: 25 watts
  • Usage: 4 hours/day
  • Electricity rate: £0.29/kWh

Daily cost = (25 watts x 4 hours) / 1000 (to convert to kWh) x £0.29 = £0.029 per day.

Estimating cost based on average use

For this example, let’s assume your monitor consumes 84 watts per hour. If you use your monitor for approximately 8 hours a day, at a cost of £0.29 per kWh, your rough calculation would be:

  • Daily energy usage = (84 watts x 8 hours) / 1000 = 0.672 kWh/day.
  • Monthly cost = 0.672 kWh x 30 days x £0.29 = £5.85

Remember these are estimated figures; actual costs will vary based on your monitor’s efficiency and your electricity rate. For a more accurate running cost, use this monitor electricity cost calculator.

Factors affecting monitor running costs

monitor energy cost calculator

The size and resolution of your screen, as well as the brightness, refresh rate, and specific hardware and settings of your monitor, all play a crucial role in your monitor’s energy consumption.

Screen size and resolution

  • Size: Larger monitors typically consume more power. For instance, a 22-inch monitor will use more electricity than a smaller 17-inch model due to the greater area that needs to be illuminated.
  • Resolution: Higher resolutions, such as 4K, demand more processing power, resulting in increased energy use when compared to Full HD monitors because they display a higher number of pixels.
Screen SizeResolutionApprox. Energy Use
17-inchFull HDLower
22-inchFull HDModerate
Any size4KHigher

Brightness and refresh rates

  • Brightness: The brighter your monitor is set, the more energy it requires. Utilising features like an ambient light sensor can adjust the brightness automatically to save energy.
  • Refresh rates: Monitors designed for gaming with high refresh rates, such as 144Hz or higher, can lead to increased energy consumption. Standard rates often range around 60Hz, which is more energy-efficient.

Hardware and settings

  • Hardware: The type of monitor can affect power usage. In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels are known for better colour accuracy and viewing angles, while Twisted Nematic (TN) panels are more common in gaming monitors for their fast response times. Different types often have varying energy needs.
  • Power-saving modes: Take advantage of any energy-saving or power-saving modes your monitor has to offer. These settings help reduce energy consumption when the monitor is not actively in use.
  • Standby mode: While standby mode uses less power than when the monitor is in use, it still consumes a small amount of electricity. It’s wise to turn the monitor off completely if you’re not planning to use it for an extended period.
  • Graphics card: The type of graphics card in your setup can also influence monitor power usage. Higher-end graphics cards might require more from your monitor, adding to the running costs.

Energy-efficient practices and options

monito electricity rating

To effectively minimise your monitor’s running costs, you need to explore energy-saving technologies, adjust your settings, and compare different types of monitors for their energy efficiency.

Energy-saving technologies

Monitors have evolved significantly with energy efficiency in mind. LED monitors use light-emitting diodes for backlighting and are more energy-efficient compared to their LCD counterparts, which utilise cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL).

An LCD monitor with a power rating of 25 watts, for instance, would cost less to operate than an older model with higher wattage. Look out for energy-efficiency ratings to guide your choices.

Adjusting settings to save energy

Your monitor’s settings play a crucial role in managing energy consumption. Reducing brightness can significantly decrease power usage.

For instance, lowering brightness from 100% to 70% can save energy without compromising too much on visual quality.

Enabling power-saving modes like sleep or hibernate after periods of inactivity also cuts down on unnecessary energy use.

Comparing different monitor types

When selecting a monitor, you should weigh the energy implications of different screen types. While LCD monitors are common and moderately efficient, LED monitors offer greater energy savings.

Curved monitors might seem like a luxury, yet they can be efficient as well; however, their energy consumption can vary based on size and resolution.

Always compare the running costs per year detailed on energy efficiency labels or product specifications.

Remember to factor in not only the upfront cost but also the long-term savings that a more energy-efficient monitor may provide.

Reducing overall energy expenditure

To save money on your energy bills, you can take several steps to reduce the energy consumption of your monitor:

  • Choose energy-efficient models: Look for monitors with energy-saving features or those rated with high energy efficiency standards.
  • Adjust settings: Lower the brightness and switch off screen savers to decrease energy usage.
  • Power management: Use the monitor’s power-saving mode. Also, remember to turn it off when not in use rather than leaving it on standby, as even standby mode can consume energy.
  • Smart plugs: Consider a smart plug to manage your monitor’s power usage remotely and track its energy consumption. However, be aware of the initial cost of smart plugs and the time it may take for the investment to pay back in energy savings.

By being mindful of these factors, you can better control the energy costs associated with running your monitor and contribute to overall household energy savings.