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More Home Electronics, But Less Energy Use
Jun 26, 2014
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Despite higher market penetration in U.S. homes, consumer electronics (CE) account for a lower share of the electricity usage per household than they did three years ago, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The study says CE devices accounted for 12% of residential electricity consumption in the U.S. in 2013, down from 13.2% in 2010.

"Rapid changes in the energy consumption characteristics of high-tech devices make it essential to develop up-to-date and accurate assessments of energy usage,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "And it’s clear the energy efficiency improvements for consumer electronics are best driven by innovation, competition, voluntary agreements and programs such as Energy Star."

Of the 12% share of total residential energy consumption in 2013:
• TVs accounted for 30%
• set-top boxes 18%
• computers 13%

TVs are in 97% of U.S. homes, making them the most widely owned CE device. TV energy consumption is declining, thanks to innovations in display technologies. The report showed that TVs' annual electricity consumption was down 23% from 2010. This was due in part to the declining use of cathode ray tube TVs.

The study showed U.S. households were using nearly 3.8 billion CE devices in 2013, spanning 46 discrete technology categories and consuming an estimated 169 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity.

The 2010 study reported 2.9 billion devices were in use across 35 discrete technology categories and consumed an estimated 193 TWh.

Devices covered in-depth in the study include TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes (cable, satellite, telco, and stand-alone), computers and peripherals, computer speakers, monitors, home audio, smart phones, tablets, and networking equipment. The study covers 17 priority products comprising 80% of the residential energy use of consumer electronics, plus another 29 products that make up the remaining 20%.

CEA said that, relative to other energy end uses, the CE end-use characteristics typically change very quickly due to innovation and shorter product cycles.

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