Find out how much your flat-screen TV really costs

By now, you may have purchased one of those sharp new flat-panel TV sets. After all, we all like new, shiny and skinny consumer electronics, don't we? What isn't told to you by that electronics sales clerk in most cases is how much that new 47" plasma TV will cost, electricity-wise.

It's hard to imagine that a flat-panel TV would suck up so much electricity -- but yes, they sure do. Plasma TVs for example, require every bit as much electricity as a standard CRT-based television set. Watch a lot of fast-paced movies and play a bunch of wiper-bright video games? That plasma TV may be sucking up to 40% more power during those times.

Finally, LCD TVs are starting to take over for the heavier and more energy-hungry plasma sets, which is not only good for the environment but better for the back. Instead of that 130-pound weight you now need to mount to the wall, an LCD TV may only be about 50 pounds. That's quite a difference, right? Although larger LCD TVs are now becoming the preferred technology for replacing outdated projection and CRT TVs, you still need to be careful about power consumption. As in, not having the TV on when not using it.