British Gas is blaming ultra high definition 4K TVs for adding £82m to energy bills by 2019

Francesca Washtell
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4K TVs have four times better resolution than HD TVs (Source: Getty)

They may be turning into a must-have item, but energy inefficient 4K TVs are set to add £82m to UK consumers’ electricity bills by 2019, British Gas has warned.

The ultra high definition (HD) TV sets have this year single-handedly caused the first rise in household energy bills from watching TV since 2011, preliminary findings from a British Gas report with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), due to be published in January, found.

Ultra HD 4K TVs have a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, more than 8m pixels. This is four times more than standard HD TVs, which have 1,920 x 1,080.

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The increase in pixels is matched, however, by how much energy they require. In 2015, the average 4K TV used 33 per cent more energy than an HD set, British Gas found.

In figures analysed from 2014, the total number of 4K TVs in UK households required an additional 11 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity compared to their HD counterparts, equating to just £1.8m in higher energy bills around the country.

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In 2019, however, this extra energy usage will leap dramatically by 4,264 per cent to 480 GWh, when it is estimated 9m homes will own a 4K TV. Around 2m households are expected to own one by the end of this year.

Daniel Colford, smart energy expert at British Gas, 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.

Read more: Virgin Media catches up to rivals with its first 4K TV set-top box

Broadcasters including Sky, Virgin and BT have been working to push 4K content to the masses. Sky announced plans this summer to air movies, Premier League football games and all Formula 1 in the better-than-HD format.

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