Video Providers Conserve To Save $1.5 Billion Annually

Fifteen industry-leading multichannel video providers and device manufacturers are launching a Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement that will save a minimum $1.5 billion in residential electricity costs annually and go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Companies involved in the new Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement will meet regularly to review and update energy efficiency measures. The companies will host discussions with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and other interested government agencies and stakeholders on new technologies and equipment.

To create accountability and support transparency, the agreement's requires companies to verify set-top box performance in the field, release annual public reports on energy efficiency improvements and post power consumption information for customers, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

"Providing American consumers with innovative services that deliver great video content and reduce in-home energy costs is win-win for customers and participating companies," said Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA.

Set-top boxes that are ENERGY STAR-qualified are, on average, 45 percent more efficient than conventional models, according to the EPA. The new energy conservation initiative will produce more overall energy savings five years earlier than the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) anticipated in its most recent review of set-top box energy conservation issues. Prior to the agreement, the earliest date that any DOE set-top box standards would have been implemented was 2018.

The initiative will help the popular and rapidly evolving product category transfer energy savings to consumers, said Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA.

"The Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement will protect innovation and consumer choice while reducing energy use and saving money," Shapiro said.

Companies signing the five-year Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement commit to the following:

  • At least 90 percent of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed after 2013 will meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. Based on market projections for set-top box deployments, this will result in residential electricity savings of $1.5 billion annually, as the agreement is fully realized.
  • For immediate residential electricity savings, "light sleep" capabilities will be downloaded by cable operators to more than 10 million digital video recorders (DVRs) that are already in homes. In 2013, telco providers will offer light sleep capabilities, and satellite providers will include an "automatic power down" feature in 90 percent of set-top-boxes purchased and deployed.
  • Energy efficient whole-home DVR solutions will be available as an alternative to multiple in-home DVRs for subscribers of satellite and some telco providers beginning in 2013.
  • "Deep sleep" functionality in next generation cable set-top boxes will be field tested and deployed if successful.

Participating companies include providers Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink, and manufacturers Cisco, Motorola, EchoStar Technologies and ARRIS.