Energy Use of Cable, Satellite and Telephone Set-Top Boxes to Be Slashed, Saving Consumers $1 Billion Annually

NRDC Part of Historic Agreement with Cable, Satellite and Phone Companies to Use More Efficient Equipment

SAN FRANCISCO (December 23, 2013) -- A voluntary agreement announced today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other energy-efficiency advocates,  the U.S. Department of Energy, the pay-TV industry; and equipment manufacturers will reduce  the national electricity use of new set-top boxes by $1 billion a year. Once in full effect, the agreement will save three power plants’ worth of electricity and prevent the emission of 5 million tons of carbon pollution each year. 

Under the voluntary agreement, the leading cable, satellite and telephone companies commit to buy more energy efficient set-top boxes, and -- for the first time – make publicly available the energy use of their new set-top boxes installed in almost 90 million U.S. homes.

The agreement caps a yearlong negotiation that followed NRDC’s groundbreaking report that found set-top box devices consumed approximately $3 billion worth of electricity annually; much of it when the box is turned “off” and the user is neither watching nor recording a show.

Following is a statement by Noah Horowitz, one of the lead negotiators for the voluntary agreement, and a senior scientist and director of the Center for Energy Efficiency at NRDC:  

“This historic agreement promises to put $1 billion back in the pockets of U.S. consumers every year because the new set-top boxes will use less energy. We appreciate the industry’s renewed commitment toward making the devices that bring pay TV into 90 million-plus U.S. homes more efficient and look forward to working together to reduce their future energy use.”

Signatories to the agreement include pay-TV providers (listed according to number of customers) Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink; and manufacturers Cisco, ARRIS (including Motorola), and EchoStar Technologies. The energy efficiency advocate signatories in addition to NRDC are the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP).

Go here for the joint statement from signatories and DOE:

Here is a link to Noah’s blog on the topic: