NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

New Set-Top Boxes Delivering Energy Savings and Reducing Tons of CO2 Emissions

New Set-Top Boxes Delivering Energy Savings and Reducing Tons of CO2 Emissions


In today’s hyper competitive pay TV marketplace, cable, satellite and telco TV providers are in a constant state of innovation, working hard for their spot in the connected home. These companies know that consumers are constantly connected and to remain a welcome part of entertainment centers, devices need to be energy efficient.

That’s why, in the first two years of the voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement (VA) among pay-TV industry, consumer electronics manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates, we’re proud to report that the effort has resulted in over $500 million in energy savings and prevented nearly three million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to a report released today by an Independent Auditor.

The report shows the VA has saved American consumers about $336 million in 2014 alone. Independent auditors found 90 percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers in 2014 met the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. A major contributor to the savings is an impressive 33 percent decline in energy usage by new DVRs compared to new models from just two years ago.

Noah Horowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote that the new annual report shows that the Voluntary Agreement is “really beginning to pay dividends,” and Jennifer Amann of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) wrote that, “by meeting the commitments of the Voluntary Agreement, pay-TV companies are demonstrating that energy efficiency and product innovation go hand in hand.”

Some other major milestones of the VA are:


  • ”Light sleep” mode has been downloaded to an additional 6.8 million set-top boxes already in homes prior to the implementation of the Voluntary Agreement.
  • Multi-room DVR, network and cloud offerings by cable, telco and satellite providers have greatly expanded, enabling consumers to record and watch programming throughout their homes with fewer fully-featured set-top boxes.
  • The use of apps to watch pay-TV programming on tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and other devices (without set-top boxes) has exploded in growth.


CableLabs has also played an important role by providing significant technical support to the VA, by testing set-top boxes in CableLabs-Energy Lab, and by bringing energy efficiency increasingly to the forefront in the development industry specifications.