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Save energy easily

Just turn off the tube. According to the EPA, the millions (275, to be exact) of televisions in the U.S. eat up more than 50 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Hard to believe, but researchers say that's equivalent to the output of more than ten coal-fired power plants. Ugh. Of course there are other benefits to turning off the set, but when you absolutely must watch The Office, make sure you're following these guidelines from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Go energy efficient. A study from CNET found that digital light processing (DLP) TVs consume the least energy--0.13 watts per inch compared with plasma TVs' 0.33 watts per inch.

Get EnergyStar rated. Models that meet the new guidelines -- released by the EPA in November -- will save up to 30 percent more energy than conventional TVs.

Unplug it, baby. TVs that have standby modes continue to draw power -- even if the TV is technically on!

Turn down the brightness. "Standard" settings --good for selling TVs -- are often brighter than necessary once you get your set home.

Don't "quick start." Wait a little longer for the set to heat up before the picture pops up, and save a bunch of power.

Convert now! Beginning in February, broadcasts will switch to digital only, which means that analog-TV users will need a digital-to-analog converter box in order to see noncable or satellite broadcasts. According to the EPA, if all analog TV owners used EnergyStar digital-to-analog converter boxes, global warming pollution would be lowered by an amount equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road. Let me say that again: 1 MILLION CARS!

For more tips, read our article "10 Tips for Minimizing TV's Influence."

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