Issue Overview

Energy Saving Innovation

As Americans increasingly rely on more electronic devices and gadgets throughout their daily lives, managing energy consumption has become both an environmental and economic priority.

To address these challenges, cable companies are leading the charge to promote energy efficient equipment and services. ENERGY STAR 3.0 set-top boxes, low-power adapters, cloud-based delivery service, and a number of other new technologies are some of the green technology efforts that cable companies are implementing.

The complex multichannel video ecosystem consists of many moving parts, including operators, programmers, equipment manufacturers, research labs and more. Each of these major stakeholders plays a role in reducing the energy consumed by cable devices; efforts that result in reduced energy costs for cable subscribers.

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Our Position


Top Cable Energy-Saving Initiatives

  • 1

    ENERGY STAR 3.0 Set-Top Boxes

    At least 90 percent of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed after 2013 will meet the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels, resulting in approximately $1.5 billion dollars in energy savings annually.

  • 2

    CableLabs - Energy Lab

    CableLabs, the industry’s non-profit, research and development consortium, has established a testing and development facility to build industry consensus on energy conservation efforts, create energy efficient specifications and test new hardware and software.

  • 3

    Decreased reliance on set-top boxes

    The development of digital-only tuners, home networking, whole-home DVRs and cloud-based delivery services allow for shared processing and storage power of a network across many consumers. Services can be delivered directly to tablets and gaming stations without the need to power a set-top box.

  • 4

    Low-power TV adapters

    In cable markets that have converted to all digital systems, operators are providing customers with small low-power digital TV adapters that use less than four watts each, a significant energy savings.

  • 5

    Light Sleep DVRs

    “Light sleep” capabilities allows essential activities within a set-top box to continue while energy consumption associated with other tasks is discontinued. Devices shifting into “light sleep” are expected to deliver savings of 20 percent or more.



Percentage of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed after 2013 that will employ ENERGY STAR 3.0 technology


Number of NCTA's green video provider partners. Includes Comcast, DIRECTV DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, CenturyLink, Cisco, Motorola, EchoStar Technologies, and ARRIS.

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