• Youth Energy Squad

How Much Energy Does it Cost for Me to Watch TV?


Context: Even small actions like watching TV draw power from the electrical grid. While we don’t like to think about this while watching our favorite shows, the consequences of this on our energy system can add up! During this extra time we’re spending out home during the pandemic, it is especially important to be conscious of how much energy we are using in our home, and that includes while we are watching TV.




Goals: Grade Level:. 6-12

  • evaluate whether our tv is efficient enough to meet our own standards/ expectations in 2020. 


  • calculate the cost per month generated by our use of the television



Supplies:


  • pencil

  • paper

  • calculator






Instructions: 


In this activity we will be figuring out how much energy we use by watching our television.


To calculate…

How many hours do you watch tv on the average day? _______ hours.

Multiply that by 7 to determine how many hours you watch per week. ______ hours.

Multiply that by 52 to determine how many hours you watch per year. ______ hours.


Most TVs use about 80 to 400 watts, depending on the size and technology. Generally bigger, better TVs use more wattage. Using a sample cost of 15¢ per kilowatt-hour and five hours of viewing a day, that's $1.83 to $9.13/mo. 


(15¢ x 5 hours x .080 kilowatts* x 31 days = $1.86)

*80 watts

(15¢ x 5 hours x .400 kilowatts* x 31 days = $9.30)

*400 watts


If DTE charges 20¢ per kilowatt-hour, estimate how much money you would save your family over 1 year if you cut your viewing time to zero? That means absolutely no tv for a year. 

$____ per year


Find the formula at the bottom to check your work!




Debrief/Talking Points 

  • How much money would you save per year?


  • Do you feel like the amount of tv you watch per year is worth that much money? 


  • Are there other things you could think of to do with the money that you would save from watching tv?


  • Are there other things you could do with the time that you would save from watching tv per year? 






Formula:

$0.20 x ___ hours per day x .08 kilowatts x 365 days

$0.20 x ___ hours per day x .4 kilowatts x 365 days

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