How Being a Cord Cutter Lowers Your Utility Bills





A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phone

A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phoneWe often talk about how ditching cable TV can lower the cost you pay for your entertainment, but did you know it can also lower your utility bills?

The LA Times reported that an idle cable DVR box consumes 35 watts of power every hour. (Now that is not even accounting for how much it costs when it is in use.) It costs on average $8 a month per cable DVR box. Now if you have two DVRs and one of the smaller cable boxes you could easily be looking at $20 a month in electrical bills just from your cable equipment.

Many popular cord cutting DVRs use a fraction of the power cable DVRs use. Tablo DVRs use 9.2 watts of power every hour when idle and 15 watts of power per hour when all four tuners are recording a show and one channel is being watched live. So even when using your Tablo DVR you still only consume half the power an idle cable DVR needs.

Rokus use a fraction of the power consumption of cable devices. Even when streaming content, the Roku 3 only uses 3.5 watts of power every hour compared to the 35 watts of power a cable DVR uses when it is plugged in but not in use.

Roku device power consumption per hour is as follows:

  • Roku 4 – 12.4W
  • Roku 3 – 3.5W
  • Roku 2 – 3.5W
  • Roku 1 – 4.5W
  • Roku Streaming Stick – 2W

This all adds up over a year because powering a cable DVR can cost as much as $96 a year more than what a year of Hulu will cost you. If you just have two cable boxes, you will be paying $192 a year for electrical alone. If you have two DVRs and a cable converter box you could be paying $240 just to power your cable devices when you could be paying for a year of Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon with the savings you will have just by ditching cable TV.

Depending on what Roku you have, your electric bill to power a Roku could be as little as $8 a year if you have a Roku Streaming Stick. (Note a Roku Streaming Stick will likely cost even less because it typically turns off when not in use—unlike other streaming devices.)

So whenever you hear someone ask what they can save by ditching cable TV make sure to tell them how much they can save on their utilities alone could pay for a year of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

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