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Set-Top Box Energy Agreement Could Save U.S. Consumers $1.5 Billion/Year
Dec 10, 2012
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Fifteen device manufacturers and multichannel video providers, which deliver service to 90 million U.S. households, formed a Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement that will result in an estimated annual residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion.

The commitment was announced by the Consumer Electronics Association and National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The voluntary, five-year agreement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

The agreement states that at least 90% of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed after 2013 will meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star 3.0 efficiency levels. Based on market projections for set-top box deployments, this will result in residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion annually when the agreement is fully realized.

For immediate residential electricity savings, "light sleep" capabilities will be downloaded by cable operators to more than 10 million digital video recorders (DVRs) that are already in homes. In 2013, telco providers will offer light sleep capabilities, and satellite providers will include an "automatic power down" feature in 90% of set-top-boxes purchased and deployed.

Energy efficient, whole-home DVR solutions will be available as an alternative to multiple in-home DVRs for subscribers of satellite and some telco providers beginning in 2013.

"Deep sleep" functionality in next generation cable set-top boxes will be field tested and deployed if successful.

The EPA has said Energy Star-qualified set-top boxes are, on average, 45% more efficient than conventional models. The new energy conservation initiative will produce more energy savings overall, and five years earlier than originally anticipated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to this agreement, 2018 was the earliest date that any DOE set-top box standards would have been implemented.

Participating manufacturers are Cisco, Motorola, EchoStar Technologies, and Arris. Participating included were content providers Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, and CenturyLink.

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