Industry Initiative Saves Consumers $2.5 Billion in Annual Energy Costs

Washington, D.C. -- Consumers saved $2.5 billion in energy costs in 2021 under a voluntary agreement between the pay-TV industry and energy efficiency advocates to improve the energy efficiency of set-top boxes used to access video programming. Led by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, NCTA - The Internet & Television Association and CableLabs®, the agreement has cut the aggregate energy use of set-top boxes by 57% in the United States since the agreement was launched nine years ago, according to a new independent auditor’s report

The voluntary agreement has saved consumers almost $12 billion in electricity costs in total, which is more than enough to power every home in the state of California for nearly a year. The agreement also has prevented nearly 64 million metric tons of CO2 emissions since it was implemented. 

“Even as features and capabilities of set-top boxes and pay-TV services continue to increase, power consumption has declined, demonstrating the success of this voluntary agreement,” said Doug Johnson, vice president of emerging technology, CTA. “This initiative is one way that the private sector is working together to advance energy efficiency and create a more sustainable future.” 

“The voluntary agreement has realized savings not only through the traditional approach of making new devices more efficient, but also through creative approaches such as more efficient deployment designs and enabling customers to access video services through Smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets without a set-top box,” said Neal Goldberg, General Counsel of NCTA - The Internet & Television Association.   

A major driver of savings under the program is a transition from traditional digital video recorders (DVRs) that include hard drives to non-DVR Internet Protocol devices. These IP devices represented more than 70% of all purchases in 2021 and on average use only 36 kW hours per year, compared to an annual average of 267 kWh for DVRs in 2012 when the agreement began.  

Participants in the agreement include major pay-tv providers (Altice USA, AT&T/DIRECTV, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Frontier, and Verizon), major manufacturers (CommScope, Sagemcom, and VANTIVA, formerly Technicolor), energy-efficiency advocates (the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Natural Resources Defense Council), and supporting organizations (Consumer Technology Association, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, and CableLabs).  

To learn more about the industry’s voluntary agreements and energy efficiency efforts, visit