Energy Efficient Set-Top Boxes Save $168M

August 29, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

set top energy manageThe voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement between the pay-TV industry and consumer electronics manufacturers has saved consumers about $168 million in energy bills, according to the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes 2013 Annual Report.

In 2012, the pay-TV industry initiated the Voluntary Agreement that will eventually result in the energy efficiency of set-top boxes being increased by up to 45 percent. Agreement signatories include 11 cable, satellite, and telco video companies and all major equipment vendors serving US video subscribers, accounting for 91.3 percent of the total market in 2013. In 2013, leading energy-efficiency advocates joined with the pay-TV industry in an expanded version of the Voluntary Agreement.

Eighty-five percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers in 2013 met the US Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star 3.0 efficiency levels. New set-top boxes use almost 14 percent less energy than those previously issued by service providers.

Other 2013 milestones include:

  • The Voluntary Agreement reduced national annual set-top box energy consumption 1.4 TWh (4.4 percent) even as deployed stock increased in 2013.
  • Set-top box purchases indicate early adoption of 2017 goals – 90 percent of purchased set-top boxes must meet a more stringent set of energy efficiency levels called Tier 2. About 47 percent of set-top boxes purchased in 2013 meet the more efficient Tier 2 levels.
  • The industry now offers new whole home DVRs, which are able to deliver live and recorded content to multiple TVs in a home, providing additional energy savings as consumers no longer need a DVR on each TV.
  • Cable operators have deployed software updates enabling “light sleep” for set-top boxes already in homes and new set-top boxes. Telco providers deployed “light sleep” capabilities, and satellite providers have included an “automatic power down” feature in more than 90 percent of set-top boxes purchased and deployed.

Photo: Set-top Box via Shutterstock

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