For years, upgrading the speed of broadband networks has typically focused on increasing how fast consumers can download movies, stream their favorite content or run dozens of internet-connected…
In 2012, NCTA, along with the Consumer Technology Association, the pay-TV industry, energy efficiency advocates, and device manufacturers created a voluntary agreement to drastically improve the energy efficiency of set-top boxes. Four years later and we can say with confidence that it’s been an enormous success. To date, the agreement has delivered Americans more than $1 billion in energy savings and avoided millions of tons of CO2 emissions.
The voluntary agreement is still making headlines, now being honored by the Environmental Leader, a leading daily trade publication covering energy and environmental news, as their Project of the Year. The winners were announced at the Environmental Leader 2016 Conference in Denver, CO. Award recipients were chosen based on their exemplary contribution to energy and environmental efforts, innovation, efficiency and reliability.
This honor comes on the heels of some pretty impressive stats surrounding the agreement. In 2015, an independent auditor found that less than two years after the agreement was signed, 90 percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers met the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. A major contributor to the savings is a 33 percent decline in energy usage by new DVRs compared to new models from just two years earlier. We expect even more energy savings will be announced when the next annual auditor’s report is issued this summer. These savings came from innovative features such as multi-room DVR, network and cloud offerings that have enabled consumers to record and watch programming throughout their homes with fewer fully-featured set-top boxes. And, of course, the use of apps to watch pay-TV programming on efficient tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and other devices without a traditional set-top boxes have exploded in growth. These energy-sipping app-based devices are going to become far more common as recent proposals are working to develop an industry-wide apps-based solution.
Upon hearing of the award, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, a group instrumental in developing and supporting the voluntary agreement expressed gratitude, saying, “This award highlights the effectiveness of voluntary, private sector-driven agreements to provide comprehensive energy and cost savings to consumers and the country. Reducing our energy consumption by innovating more efficient technology is one of our industry’s most important goals, and we take pride in the great strides we have made.” Those sentiments were echoed by Neal Goldberg, NCTA’s General Counsel who added, “The energy and cost savings recognized by this award show how strongly the cable industry is working towards improving the overall consumer experience.”
Americans love watching TV – especially when it’s through apps on the device of their choice, in the location of their choice, and at the time of their choice. Though the devices we use to watch TV are always changing, a commitment to innovation and energy-efficiency will remain a constant. We’re honored to receive the Environmental Leader Project of the Year Award and couldn’t be more pleased with the success of the voluntary agreement.