The amount of electricity consumed by a TV on standby or while operating depends on the technology involved; rear projection TVs can use between 0.2 and about 48 watts per hour with an average between 6 and 7. CRT (cathode ray tube) technology uses less, with a high of about 16, low close to zero and average of approximately 3 watts per hour.

The addition of peripherals such as video and DVD recorders and players or stereo home theater equipment adds to the amount of electricity that is being used even while on standby. Gaming consoles are another source of standby energy use, consuming more than 20 watts per hour on average in ready mode. Even the digital cable box and any attached DVRs adds between 15 and 45 watts of electricity consumption per hour depending on the type of technology used.

It is the convenience of being able to turn on the TV set with a remote that necessitates leaving the set in standby mode. Using the remote means that the TV needs to keep certain circuits open in wait for a signal.

Studies suggest that overall, electricity consumption by appliances and gadgets on standby accounts for about 5 percent of residential use.