Set up time

What you need
‘The cost of television’ worksheet

To encourage students to think about how much energy a household TV consumes, and then to think about ways to reduce this consumption.

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Learning outcomes


Your students will observe whether a TV is an expensive, energy-hungry appliance in the average home.


Your students will learn how to predict, record and compare results in a scientific observation.


Your students will learn how to use an online calculator to translate observations into meaningful metrics.

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efs ws discuss

Talk to your students about how they could go about calculating the cost of running a TV for a year.

efs ws record

Ask students to predict how many hours their TV is on each week, then get them to record actual usage over one week.

efs ws calculate

Use the Origin Energy efficiency calculator to translate this usage into real costs and CO2 emissions

efs ws ask

Compare results with estimates, and ask students how they could reduce annual costs and energy usage.

Do you think the TV is the most energy-hungry appliance in your home?
Could you conduct this activity using other appliances around the house? Which appliance do you think would cost the most to run?

Time required
60 mins

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Encourage your students to think beyond the simple formula above. How much embedded energy is in the television they watch? How do different televisions rate in terms of energy efficiency?

Environmental Properties of Materials


There’s more to a TV’s energy consumption than meets the eye. Think about all of the energy used in making a TV.


Discuss how TVs get from the factory into people’s homes. Are they made overseas? Think about the energy used to transport it here.


Ask the students if their TVs have a star energy rating? Some TVs are more energy efficient than others.


Find out when each family in your class last upgraded its TV. Did the old one go to the rubbish tip, or was it recycled? Which is better?