Home TV and Internet Equipment is Becoming Much More Energy Efficient

Green Tech

As our lives have increasingly become more connected to all forms of media and we seem to constantly rely on devices or gadgets throughout our waking hours, managing energy consumption has become a significant priority, both from an environmental and economic perspective. The good news for pay TV and internet consumers is that the equipment we use to enjoy these services has become much more energy efficient, both reducing your home’s carbon footprint and energy bill.

Two new reports by independent auditor D+R International, one on set-top box energy usage and one on residential internet equipment energy usage, reveal the effectiveness of two recent Voluntary Agreements (VA) dedicated to improving device energy efficiency. First, the set-top box VA signed in 2012 has led to more than 6.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented. And the internet equipment VA signed in 2015 has, in just its first year, resulted in nearly 90 percent of home modems, routers, and other network equipment meeting new stringent energy standards. These remarkable achievements are the result of voluntary commitments by service providers and device manufacturers to making greener home technologies that both improves energy efficiency and saves on energy costs.

" 99.5 percent of new set-top boxes meet ENERGY STAR version 3.0 efficiency standards."

In addition to a reduction in 6.5 million metric tons of CO2, the set-top box VA also saved consumers $1.2 billion in energy costs over the last three years. These efforts have garnered praise from some very high places. The Voluntary Agreement was recently named “Project of the Year” by Environmental Leader, a leading daily trade publication covering energy, environmental and sustainability news. And Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, said, “The pay TV industry and its suppliers are beginning to make a real dent in the high energy use of cable, satellite and telephone set-top boxes."

Other big news from the report on set-top box progress was that 99.5 percent of new set-top boxes meet ENERGY STAR version 3.0 efficiency standards, far exceeding the 90 percent goal set by the VA. And much of the energy savings is coming not just from more efficient boxes, but all new technologies like app-based streaming devices and whole-home systems that, by their fundamental design, require less energy.

Though still new, the VA on internet equipment is already making a huge impact. D+R International found that nearly 90 percent of home internet modems, routers and other equipment that deliver broadband to millions of American consumers purchased in 2015 met tough new energy efficiency standards. Although in this first year the signatories were not required to meet the 90 percent benchmark, the audit found that seven of the eleven companies in the VA have already accomplished that commitment. The audit also found that the average maximum energy level permitted by the Voluntary Agreement represent approximately an 18 percent reduction in energy usage from other recently deployed models. The VA is expected to continue to achieve additional savings throughout 2016.

Transparency is an important part of the VA. That’s why energy information about all of the signatories’ models has been made available to consumers at a new website, www.energy-efficiency.us.

When we signed these VAs our goal was to save consumers money and build more energy efficient devices without the need for unwieldy regulation. We remain confident the VAs will continue to deliver better, cleaner, more efficient devices for years to come all while protecting innovation and competition.

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